Pan Seared Duck Breast | thehealthyfoodie.com

Until recently, I thought that cooking Duck Breast was this super complicated thing that probably required some kind of degree in “pan searing methodology” and as such, was probably better left to the experts.

Ha! Nothing could be further from the truth. Pan seared duck breast is even easier to make than steak. Well the process is extremely similar, in fact. The main difference is that when cooking duck breast, you want to start with a cold skillet, as opposed to a scorching hot one. I know, that sounds weird, but there’s a very good reason for that. You want to elevate the temperature of the pan ever so slowly so that you render as much of the fat as possible, leaving behind nothing but a thin layer of beautiful, deep golden and super crispy skin.

That also means that duck takes care of “greasing” its own skillet, so you don’t need to add any fat to it. As an added bonus, you get to keep all that amazing and tasty fat that gets left behind for future use, just like when cooking bacon!

Also, unlike steak and because intense heat isn’t necessary, you can very well cook multiple duck breasts in a single skillet. I’m giving you instructions to make one, but feel free to up that if you have to! 

Pan Seared Duck Breast | thehealthyfoodie.com

Alright, let’s get started: take the duck breast (or breasts if making more than one) out of the fridge and pat it really dry. Now, with a very sharp blade, score the skin in a crosshatch pattern but go only as deep as the skin is thick. You don’t want to actually cut into the flesh.

Scoring the skin will help release the fat that is located under it and will also result in a thinner, much crispier skin.

Pan Seared Duck Breast | thehealthyfoodie.com

Once you’re done scoring the skin, sprinkle the duck breast generously with salt and pepper, on both sides.

Pan Seared Duck Breast | thehealthyfoodie.com

Place your duck breast skin side down in a cold, dry skillet.

Like I said earlier, there is no need to preheat the pan or add any fat to it. Starting with a cold pan will ensure that we get the most fat to render out from under that skin.

Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook the duck breast until the skin becomes beautifully golden brown, thin and super crispy, which should take about 6-8 minutes, depending on the initial thickness of the skin.

Pan Seared Duck Breast | thehealthyfoodie.com

Turn the breast over to the other side and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes for rare to medium-rare — if you’re not too sure and want to play it real safe, the internal temperature should read 125°F – 130°F on an instant read thermometer.

Pan Seared Duck Breast | thehealthyfoodie.com

Just like a good steak, duck breasts needs to rest, otherwise, the juices will run all over your cutting board instead of down your throat like they should. So take the duck out of the pan and let it rest on a cutting board, skin side up, for about 5 minutes.

Then, carve thin slices cut on the bias and on the diagonal, and serve.

Pan Seared Duck Breast | thehealthyfoodie.com

Typically, I like to eat duck breast meat with a simple balsamic reduction, but I find that Balsamic Vinegar Pearls go spectacularly well with it. Not only do they add a touch of sophistication, class and elegant distinction to an already magnificent dish, but they also complement the flavor of the meat to the absolute perfection.

Then you really don’t need to add much at all to your plate. A few sauteed veggies, a healthy serving of Cauliflower Mash topped with a generous spoonful of ghee, and you’ve got yourself a meal fit for a king.

Who says you can’t eat “fancy food” when cooking only for yourself?

Pan Seared Duck Breast

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 medium duck breast, about 300g
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Take the duck breast out of the fridge and pat it real dry. Score the skin (not the meat!) in a criss-cross pattern with a very sharp blade. This will help release the fat that is located under the skin and will also result in a crispier skin.
  • Sprinkle the duck breast generously with salt and pepper, then place it skin side down in a cold, dry skillet. Yes, that’s right. No need to preheat the pan or add fat to it. Starting with a cold pan will ensure that we get the most fat to render. Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook the duck breast until the skin becomes beautifully golden brown, thin and crispy, which should take about 6-8 minutes, depending on the initial thickness of the skin.
  • Turn the breast over and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes for rare to medium-rare (internal temperature should read 125°F – 130°F on instant read thermometer.
  • Take the duck out of the pan and let it rest on a cutting board, skin side up for about 5 minutes. Just like a good steak, a duck breast needs to rest, otherwise, the juices will run all over your cutting board instead of down your throat like they should.
  • Carve with slices cut on the bias and on the diagonal and serve.
Author: Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

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Pan Seared Duck Breast | thehealthyfoodie.com