How to cook duck breast?

Cook a perfect duck breast at home with this how-to including step-by-step pictures. It's easier than you might think!

20 minutes 4 people Main course
How to cook duck breast?


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  • 1 duck breast
  • pepper and salt
  • optional: a few sprigs of fresh rosemary

Kitchen equipment

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  • cutting board & chef's knife
  • meat tongs
  • peper kitchen towel
  • non-stick skillet


20 minutes 4 people Main course

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Preparation -- 5 minutes

Get the duck breast out of the fridge in advance to get it to about room temperature. Remove the package and place it with the fat side downwards on a cutting board. 

Pat it as dry as possible using a paper kitchen towel.

 Use a sharp knife to create a pattern in the fat of the duck.

This step is optional but it ensures that the fat runs out more easily during cooking. Season the fuck on the meat side with pepper and salt.

Cooking a duck breast -- 10 - 15 minutes

It's not necessary to add any oil or butter to the skillet, the fat of the duck will run out during baking.

 Add the duck breast with the fat downwards into the cold skillet.

 Turn the heat on low and don't move the duck, let the fat melt slowly and you'll notice it will melt beautifully after a few minutes.

Add the rosemary to the fat if you're using any. 

Let the duck breast cook for a few minutes more on low heat in its own fat. Use a meat tong to check if the fat has become a bit crispy. If that's the case, turn the duck to the meat side.

Turn the heat a bit higher, about medium heat. Cook the duck breast for about 5 to 7 minutes on the meat side. Turn it again and cook some more until the fat is really crispy. Feel the meat with your finger to check if it's already done, depending on how you'd like it. Duck is best when it's rosé, but for a well done duck you cook the meat for about 15 minutes in total.

Also cook the duck on the sides for a bit and then transfer the duck to a cutting board.

Let the duck rest for about 5 minutes before cutting into it, otherwise the juices will run out. Divide the duck into quite thin slices with a sharp knife and serve immediately.

Tip: Duck breast is delicious with a classic cranberry sauce.

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