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28 February 2011  |  Recipes

Perfect Pan-Seared Duck Breast

I think the reason some people don’t like duck is that it has been improperly cooked.  Nothing like a thick layer of fat under a soggy skin to make you rethink that duck breast.  But it CAN be so much better…

Perfect Pan-Seared Duck Breast

  • 2 duck breasts (skin-on)
  • salt & pepper
  1. place the breasts skin-side up on a cutting board
  2. using a SHARP knife, gently score the skin in a cross-hatch pattern (be careful not to cut through the flesh, you just want to give the fat some way to get out through the skin)
  3. season both sides of the breasts with salt (preferably kosher) and pepper
  4. place a skillet over med-high heat, do not add oil
  5. when the skillet is HOT, place the breasts in, skin-side down
  6. turn heat down to medium
  7. as duck cooks, A LOT of fat will come out, pour this off (and save for later…can be used to roast potatoes, veggies, or for confit. mmmm)
  8. keep the breasts skin-side down until the skin is golden and all the fat is rendered out (adjust temp if you need to keep them from burning) this step can take 15mins or so, but be patient…
  9. then flip the breasts over and cook a few more minutes (only 3-4) until it is done- or until a thermometer reads 125-135 depending on how you like your meat
  10. let the meat sit a few minutes before serving
  11. DON’T overcook, duck does not need to be cooked to the same temperature as chicken or turkey, it is more like red meat
  12. the goal is to completely render all the fat from under the skin, resulting in a crispy, golden brown skin and tender, juicy meat


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