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How To Cook Duck Breast

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cooking duck breast

How to cook duck breast – you’ve come to the right place to find the detailed recipe and tutorial (with lots of photos!) on how to make the best duck ever with crispy skin and juicy meat.    Easy recipe, it takes only 30 minutes from start to finish, with so much flavor! Gluten free!

sliced duck breast with cranberries

I love to eat duck.  It’s surprisingly easy to cook, has so much flavor, and goes great with many kinds of fruit or berry based sauces that you can so easily purchase in the grocery stores these days.

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Duck also makes an exceptional dish for a special occasion or a holiday, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas Day.  If you want something different for holidays this year – make this duck!

Here is the detailed photo-tutorial on how to cook duck breast!
Start by preparing your duck breasts for cooking. Make sure the duck breasts are completely thawed (if using frozen ones), and pat dry your duck with the paper towels if there is too much liquid from thawing. Use a large oven-proof cast iron pan, or use a large oven-proof stainless steel skillet (make sure that the pan you use has an oven-proof handle).

duck recipes

Score the duck’s skin in parallel lines or in criss-cross pattern.  If you have a hard time scoring the skin in pretty patterns, don’t worry.   You can hardly call this pattern below pretty, yet the end result was beautiful as you will see in the final photos.

duck breast recipes

Generously season the skin side of duck breasts with salt.   Don’t forget to season the other side, although less so, with salt too!   Use at least 1/2 teaspoon salt.

cooking duck

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in an oven-proof skillet until the oil is hot. Then, add duck breasts to the skillet skin side down:

duck meat

Cook the duck breasts on the skin side on medium heat, uncovered, for about 8 minutes, until the fat is released.

duck fillet recipes

I used a stainless steel skillet, and I like to use a splatter screen which keeps the oil from splattering, while allowing the heat to escape.

splatter screen

The splatter screen is especially handy with stainless steel skillets and when you cook in a lot of fat. The duck skin releases a lot of fat during the cooking process.

splatter screen while searing duck

After 8 minutes, remove the duck fat from the skillet, leaving just enough to cover the bottom of the skillet. Turn the duck breasts over to the other side (non-skin side) and cook for 2 more minutes on medium heat.

how to sear the duck on the stove top

Then, place your oven proof skillet (with duck breasts in it) in the oven (preheated to 400 F) and let the duck breasts roast for about 5 minutes, until they are medium rare.
Remove the skillet from the oven (wearing oven-proof gloves to protect your hands, of course), and let the duck breasts rest for about 7 minutes before slicing them.

It’s ready!  Serve the sliced duck with the store-bought or homemade cranberry sauce – it always tastes delicious with the duck.

crispy skin duck breast recipes

Cooking duck was super easy, wasn’t it?   It tastes really good as is, but even better with the sauce for duck breast.

crispy duck breast recipe, how to sear duck in the skillet, duck breast with cranberry sauce

You can make your own sauce for duck breast, or buy any fruit or berry based sauce for meats in the grocery store, such as pomegranate, cranberry, cherry, or blueberry sauce.

crispy skin duck breast recipes, sauce for duck breast

How To Cook Duck Breast

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

How To Cook Duck Breast

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 duck breasts (about 2 lb)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt + more, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Score the skin of duck breasts in parallel lines or in criss-cross pattern. Generously season both sides of duck breasts (and especially add more salt to the skin side!) with at least 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Use a large oven-proof cast iron pan, or use an oven-proof large stainless steel skillet (make sure that the pan you use has an oven-proof handle).
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat until the oil is hot. Add duck breasts to the skillet skin side down.
  5. Cook the duck breasts, uncovered, for about 8 minutes on medium heat on the skin side, until the fat is released. I like to use a splatter screen to keep the oil from splattering (the splatter screen allows the heat to escape). After 8 minutes, remove the duck fat from the skillet, leaving just enough to cover the bottom of the skillet. Turn the duck breasts over to the other side (non-skin side) and cook for 2 more minutes on medium heat.
  6. Place your oven proof skillet (with duck breasts in it) in the oven (preheated to 400 F) and let the duck breasts roast for about 5 minutes, until they are medium rare.
  7. Remove the skillet from the oven (wearing oven-proof gloves to protect your hands, of course), and let the duck breasts rest for about 7 minutes before slicing them.
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If you want to cook a whole duck, then make sure to check out this tutorial on how to cook a whole duck.

Also, here are some ideas for great side dishes to go with your duck:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Cinnamon Butternut Squash, Pecans, and Cranberries

Asiago Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Easy Scalloped Potatoes

Garlic and Bacon Green Beans

Follow Julia on Pinterest and Facebook to get more recipes and dinner ideas for your weekly meal planning!

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