For some reason, we think of duck breast as complicated and hard to make at home. But they’re not! Each of our magret duck breasts has a layer of fat attached that self-bastes the duck and keeps the meat tender and moist. Basically if you can cook a steak, you can cook a duck breast. Our method below pan roasts the duck and finishes it in the oven, allowing for careful control of doneness.
First, score the fatty side of the breast with a knife with cross hatches that go almost to the meat. Then generously salt and pepper both sides of the duck breast. Preheat your oven to 350F then heat a tablespoon of canola oil in a pan (ideally a pan that can be transferred to the oven) over medium-high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Place the breast in the pan, fat side down. The goal is to crisp the fatty side and render off a lot of the fat. It should take about 4-5 minutes. When the fat is crisp, use tongs to flip the duck breast over and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes. If you’ve used a pan that can go in the oven, pour off most of the fat and then place the pan in the oven. It is also okay to transfer the duck breast to an oven safe dish and add a couple of tablespoons of the fat to the bottom of the dish. Once the duck breast is in the oven, it should cook for 15-20 minutes more until the inside of the breast is 125F (use a meat thermometer). Remove breast from oven and let rest for 5 minutes then slice and serve.
For step-by-step photos and instructions, try this link at cookthink.com. Enjoy!