How to make the perfect duck breast

Duck has a LOT of fat which may deter some of you from eating or cooking it. With this easy recipe and technique, you can make duck that’s crispy, while the meat stays tender.  To me, that’s a perfect duck breast.

The technique to cook this duck breast is from Gordon Ramsay, and having tried it out, I can attest that it is truly an easy and brilliant way to cook the duck. If you look at the ingredients in this dish, you will be amazed that the tender meat isn’t from a fancy marinade or brining the meat in advance.

Duck breast from St. Lawrence Market, Toronto

Duck breast from St. Lawrence Market, Toronto

Okay here goes…

The secret to making tender duck breasts is simple; add the breast to a cold pan with no oil. Then once it’s in the pan, turn the heat on low and watch the fat drip out of the skin. And while the fat drips out, it will slowly cook the breast, making it extremely delicious. That’s it!

Remember to keep the duck fat for your next duck confit dish or to transform your potatoes into the best potatoes ever!


2 duck breasts
Black pepper

Preparation work:

  1. Generously add salt and pepper on both sides of the breasts.
Preparing the duck breasts

Preparing the duck breasts

Cooking Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 380 degrees F.
  2. Add the breasts to a cold pan skin side down. I used a non-stick pan. Turn the heat to low and let the duck fat render off. This may take about 20 minutes. Once there is little fat, the skin will crisp up.
  3. Place the duck on a baking sheet with no oil and cook for 6-8 minutes at 380 degrees F (200 degree Celsius)
  4. Let the breasts rest on a cooling rack. Cool for about 5 minutes and slice.
  5. The breast should be slightly pink, which is perfect. Enjoy!
Crispy and juicy duck breasts

Crispy and juicy duck breasts

I did not make a sauce to go with it, but a pomegranate red wine reduction sauce, aged balsamic sauce or plum sauce would complement the duck nicely.

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