Cook a perfect duck breast at home with this how-to including step-by-step pictures. It's easier than you might think!
The main thing:
Made by Véronique
Published at 2019-12-07, this recipe is for 4 people and takes 20 minutes.
Founder of Ohmydish (established 2014). Would happily spend her entire day in the kitchen. Previously worked in the hospitality industry as an independent chef and is ready and willing to help you gain confidence in the kitchen. With her easy-to-follow recipes, helpful tips, and cooking knowledge, you will be making the very tastiest dishes yourself in no time! Véronique's recipes are intended for everyone, from beginners to advanced home cooks.
Updated at: 08-01-2024
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Cooking a duck breast is super easy, simply use this handy step-by-step guide and delight your taste buds with the most succulent and flavorful duck dish you've ever tried!
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 duck on the meat side with pepper and salt.
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. Enjoy your meal!
How long should you cook a duck breast on average?
You should cook a duck breast of regular size between 15 and 20 minutes, depending on how rare or medium-rare you want the duck to be cooked.
After cooking, you should let it rest for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Why is a duck breast still pink inside after cooking?
A duck breast is different from chicken or turkey fillets. While chicken or turkey turns entirely white inside after cooking, a duck breast will always remain pink or rosy.
This is due to the colour of the meat, similar to a steak, which also remains quite rosy or red after cooking.
How many people does a duck breast serve?
On average, you can expect that one duck breast weighing between 350 and 400 grams is enough for two adults.
Why do you use a cold pan to cook a duck breast?
To achieve the best result when cooking a duck breast, place it with the skin side down in a cold pan. Using a cold pan allows the fat of the duck breast to melt slowly.
Using a hot pan will quickly sear the outer layer, preventing the fat from escaping and melting properly. As a result, you will end up with a tougher piece of meat. Always use a cold pan and avoid adding extra oil, butter, or fat.