Traditional ways to cook duck breast

Brandy or cognac.

My absolute favourite sauce for magret is port and blackberries. Deglaze the pan and reduce the port, together with blackberries. To me, duck and port have a special affinity.

Try different combinations and find out what you like most.

Port and ANY berries, can’t go wrong.

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Honestly you could just deglaze the pan with the molasses and call it a night, it will pick up some more complexity with the fond (some brands are thin enough that they don’t need the stock to thin them anyway). You could also add a little port (like others have mentioned) or wine instead of the stock as well. It really doesn’t need to be super complicated to work with a nice duck breast. In theory it is very similar to the sauces others have recommended with some type of a jelly thinned a little. It is one of my “kitchen secrets”.

If you wanted to make it more complicated I would soften minced shallots in the pan before adding the molasses and maybe add more ground pepper. I don’t like a lot of herbs with the pomegranate but to each their own on that. It does result in a fairly syrupy sauce, so you could “mount” it with butter if you wanted to finish as well. That will temper some of the tartness (but I like that tartness with a fatty duck so I don’t typically do that).

The molasses also keeps for a long time and can be used in salad dressings and cocktails as well. So I use it fairly regularly.

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I don’t know how “traditional” this is but Batali rarely steers me wrong.

Cindy, I do a hard sear on the skin side and finish in the oven but keep it medium rare


Being a Brit like Harters, I also prefer applesauce with duck. But not the pureed stuff you get in a jar, more of a stewed apple with a little sugar (the kind you would have made for your babies many moons ago).

About 25 years ago, a hotel we used to visit in Sandbanks, England, put their nightly menu up inside the elevator. I still chuckle when I see one of the dishes for that evening was to be a ‘Conflict of Duck’.

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Just to follow up – I dried then seasoned the breasts with S & P. I placed them in a cold pan which I brought up to a medium-low heat, and let the fat render for about 25 minutes, removing the fat a couple of times. By that time the skin was pretty crispy. I raised the heat in the pan and seared the second side. Then I checked the internal temp just to get an idea of how much longer they needed to cook. I flipped the breasts back to skin side down and added 2 cups of pomegranate molasses to the pan. I let them cook about 3 minutes, flipped them again, simmered about 2 minutes and checked the temp. 135º. PERFECT! And it was delicious.

Thanks for all of your help.


Scubadoo – that looks delicious! How long in the oven? What oven temp? Do you make any kind of pan sauce?

Now that I’ve got my first duck breast success behind me, I know I’ll be making it again soon and I’m up for a bit of experimentation.

Cindy, I’m bad, no recipe and no notes but I’m sure I started it off in a cast iron skillet on the stove top to sear and render as much duck fat as I could and finished in a very hot oven. I’ll say like 400-450 until I thought it was done enough. I may have used a thermapen to check it’s internal temp.

On this dish I think I made a 5 spice powder as a rub.

Is 135 medium rare or ???

What was the IT please? And I love the idea of 5 spice.

Yes. That’s medium rare for duck breast. That’s lower than USDA guidelines, but that was the temperature recommended for medium rare on several websites, including Epicurious. Of course, after it rests the temp will climb slightly, but when I sliced it I found the internal color to be exactly what I was hoping for.

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id say that sounds about right

Has anyone run into the problem of duck breasts being incredibly tough after sautéing? I’ve tried only once and quite a while back; pretty sure I made the mistake of heating the pan so was that it? Meat was still pink in the center but almost impossible to chew.

These were cryo-vacced boneless breasts from an excellent butcher counter. Quite expensive! I’d like to try to figure this out before trying again.

Also: My mom’s glaze for roast duck of raspberry jam and garlic, thinned with red wine and chicken stock, is delicious.


If you watch, tinned copper is great. If you want more room for error and don’t have to have optimal crispiness, nonstick.

I’m wondering how to cook duck legs on the Webber or traeger. Suggestions. ? Thanks.cheers ? :wine_glass:

Duck drums have very little fat, so this is a challenge. You might consider kippering them at a very low (like 150F) indirect heat with just a little smoke. I’ve done whole mallard fliers in a Little Chief electric this way, where the drums have turned out well.

If you have the duck fat, rillets and confit on the Weber would be good. You have to be careful to keep the heat low.

Now you have me drooling!

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I do have duck fat . Thinking of putting them in a pan with lots of duck fat on the traeger. 175 degrees. As long as it takes