Roast Duck Breast

Recipe Date: December 20, 2023
Difficulty: Easy
Measurements: Imperial (US)

These duck breasts are simply roasted with salt and pepper and, if you like, a bit of thyme. Duck breast are usually packaged as a one whole breast made up of two half breasts. This recipe calls for 2 half breasts. Serves 4


  • 2 large half duck breasts, 8 ounces each
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Thyme (optional)


1. Trim the excess skin and fat back to ¼ inch from the edges of the meat. Use a very sharp small knife to score the skin in a small diamond pattern while taking care to not cut into the meat.

2. Season both sides of the breasts with salt and pepper.

3. Heat a cast iron pan over medium high heat. When the bottom of the pan starts to warm, add the duck breast skin side down. The pan will slowly heat and, as it does, will render and melt the fat from beneath the skin.

4. As the fat accumulates, hold the breasts in place with a pair of tongs and tip the pan so the fat pours out into a heatproof dish. Repeat this as the fat accumulates so the breasts keep pan-roasting instead of frying in the fat.

5. Pan roast for 8 to 10 minutes until the skin is golden and crisp. Adjust the heat as necessary to keep the pan hot but not so hot that it smokes or browns the breast too quickly before the fat has rendered and the skin is thin and golden crisp.

6. After the skin is crisp and the edges of the breast are opaque. Flip the breast over and cook for 5 minutes on the opposite meaty side.

7. Remove to a plate and let the breast rest skin side up for 5 minutes before slicing. Slice along the diagonal into ¼ inch thick slices. Serve with Fondant Potatoes.

Recipe: Fondant Potatoes

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