Cold Pan Duck Breast
What the duck? Duck breasts are a no fuss kind of meal, despite finding them in fancy restaurants. I like cooking this poultry in 15 minutes on a weekday. Its fantastic with a quick salad and a perfectly cooked breast requires no fancy layout or plating!
Cooking duck breast from a cold pan is incredibly easy and very quick. Gentle cooking of the duck skin will render the skin to be bite through tender. This can be achieved by cooking a breast with the skin side down onto a pan and allowed a slow warm up. Once mostly cooked, the pan temperature can be increased to crisp the skin and lock in the caramelized flavors. Duck breast is both rich and flavorful but rendering and crisping of the skin is what really makes duck delicious. <Yum! I’m hungry again.>
Duck is best enjoyed medium rare, it has similarities to steak in this manner. However, if medium rare is not for you, I still suggest the breast pink at medium.
Cooking duck breast from a cold pan is one of the best ways I enjoy cooking duck. Cooking a seasoned with breast downside against a pan slowly warming up allows the gently rendering of the skin. Then a jump to higher temperatures crisps the skin to lock in the caramelized flavors. The meat of a duck breast is both rich and flavorful, but rendering and crisping of the skin is what really makes duck delicious. <Yum! I’m hungry again.>
P.S. SmellaQue’s Kitchen Pantry Rub recipe works great with duck and is linked here.
Cold Pan Duck Breast
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife
- Medium sized frying pan
- 2 duck breasts
- Dry seasoning – salt and pepper or Kitchen Pantry Rub
- Place duck breasts skin side up onto a cutting board. Using a sharp knife slice 1/16” into the duck breasts to score the skin. Do NOT slice the skin to deep, to cut the duck breasts beneath.
- Season the skin of the duck breasts with the dry seasoning.
- Flip the duck breast so the meat is facing upwards. Season the meat side of the duck breasts.
- Place the duck breasts, skin side down onto a (cold) medium sized frying pan.
- Place frying pan with duck onto a stove top and turn stove on to low-medium heat level. Duck skin will gently sizzle as the skin renders. Allow duck breasts to cook on the pan in the rendered fat, uncovered for 10-18 minutes until internal temperature of the duck reaches 5 degrees below finishing temperature.
- For medium rare, cook to 125F.
- For medium, cook to 135F.
- For well, cook to 150F.
- Keeping the duck breasts skin side down, increase the temperature to medium heat to caramelize and crisp up the skin. Cook an additional 3 minutes. Don’t be alarmed if skin is blackened, its extra crispy and flavorful.
- Cook the meat side of the duck breasts for 3 minutes.
- Using tongs, rotate the breasts to cook on each edge for 1 minute.
- Take duck off the frying pan to rest with a loose lid for 5 minutes.
- Slice the duck breast across lengthwise, against the grain for best tenderness.