Best way to cook duck breast

Don’t worry, it’s not very difficult. Last weekend I learned how to best prepare duck breast and I’m so thrilled with the results that I want to share it.

Ever since the time we had duck at Cafe Marlayne, it was my dream that one day I would be able to prepare something similar for dinner at home. You want the duck breast tender but still slightly pink inside (nothing dry and chewy!). Here’s the recipe.

1) Set oven to 200 degrees. Wash the duck breasts and dry thoroughly, remove tendons and pin feathers if there are any remaining.
2) Score the skin of the duck breasts in a diamond pattern. Don’t cut into the meat!
3) Season both sides with sea salt and freshly ground pepper (basic version – the one I went with).
4) Put the breasts skin side down on a dry, non-stick pan. No need to use oil, there will be lots of fat coming out! It is important to cook at medium heat, starting from a cold pan – you don’t want to burn the meat but extract the fat. Cook on the skin side for about 5-6 minutes (or until golden brown) and another 2-3 minutes on the other side. Remove fat from the pan and save for another dish – e.g. delicious roasted potatoes.
5) Put the breast in the oven on a foil-covered baking tray. Now here’s the secret: keep them in the oven for 6 minutes for rare, 8 minutes for medium and 10 for well done. Add an extra minute if the portion is huge.
6) Take the breasts out and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Leave as they are or cut into thick slices. Bon apettit!

P.S. Beetroot caramelised with brown sugar and a bit of malt or balsamic vinegar is a great accompaniment to duck meat.

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