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How to pan-fry a duck breast

by Great British Chefs8 December 2014

How to pan-fry a duck breast

Pan-frying is a great way to cook duck breasts because the skin gets deliciously crisp while the breast is still pink in the middle. The ideal internal temperature for duck breasts is 52˚C but see the tip below for estimating doneness with your fingertips.

Score the skin of the duck breast with a sharp knife and season with salt
Place the breast skin-side down in a cold non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat
As the fat is released, tilt the pan towards you and use a spoon to remove the liquid
Cook the duck breast for approximately 6 minutes then turn it over and continue to cook for 4 minutes
Using tongs, turn the breast on its sides to evenly sear the meat on all surfaces then remove the breast from the pan. If the duck is not fully cooked at this point, finish the cooking in an oven pre-heated to 220ºC/gas mark 7
Allow the duck breast to rest for 10 minutes before serving


To test the doneness of the duck breast, press it with your finger – it should be firm but still springy to the touch.

Don't forget to keep the rendered fat to use in roast potato recipes. Stored in a jar with a tightly fitting lid, it will keep for 6 months.

Serving Suggestions

Duck breast is a versatile meat and can be used in numerous dishes. Have a go at Bruno Loubet's Duck breast with honey, caraway and beetroot and grapefruit salad or Paul Foster's Seared duck breast with sautéed and pickled mushrooms, pumpkin seeds and toasted peanuts.

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