Perfectly Pan Seared Duck Breast

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Sometimes in the rush of a busy week, I like to take one day for myself to unwind and treat myself like the rock star that I believe I am!  That means if I feel up to blogging I do it, if I just want to lay around the pool, I lay around the pool.  One of the things I like to do is curate a meal that is just for me, after all I do cook for the family all week, so on my travels with my fireman last week, we cruised past Griggstown Farm on his Harley, and of course I asked him to stop.  Now for those of you that don’t live in Jersey, it may not seem like a big deal, however for those of you that do, and live within the vicinity of this glorious place, it is a gem of a place.  What Griggstown Farm is known for is their amazing fresh organic poultry.  Now when I tell you this chicken and duck stands out as the best I have ever had, it is an understatement.  The benchmark of this poultry is that many fine restaurants that I have been to, proudly brag that their chefs use only Griggstown Farm chicken and duck, so you know if high-end restaurants are using this poultry, it is something noteworthy!

I have never, EVER, tasted chicken or duck that is so tender, and so fresh tasting.  Now full disclosure, duck can be a bit gamy, but if you get a duck breast from Griggstown Farm it is so tender and not very gamy at all.   This recipe is a very simple one that can be made even if you aren’t privy to Griggstown Farm’s bounty!

Two things to master, to make your duck succulent and flavorful.  One, scoring the duck skin in a diamond or crosshatch pattern is key, you want to allow the fat to render, oh and while you’re at it,  do not throw away the renderings from the duck.  I will share my recipe for the most amazing Duck Fat Oven Roasted Steak Fries with Truffle Salt, later.  Secondly, you want to pan sear this in a cast iron skillet or a very good heavy skillet, not a non stick pan, you will not get the proper sear, you want a skillet that is oven safe as the best foolproof method is to sear it skin side down for about 5-6 minutes, and then finish it off in the oven. If you master those key elements your duck breast, no matter where you purchase it from, will be the bomb!

I like to serve this over a simple bed of baby greens, and a simple Dijon vinaigrette.  Many times people serve duck drenched in a cherry sauce or orange sauce and for me, simple is best.  I like to enjoy what I am eating, and if you season and cook your duck perfectly you will not need to mask the taste.

I hope you give this Perfectly Pan Seared Duck Breast a try.  There is something exotic about duck that feels indulgent.   It is the perfect way to unwind on you day off and feel pampered!  You’re worth it! xo


Susan xoxo

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This has been resting nicely for about 6 minutes.  Taking time to score the skin has paid dividends, and has rendered some of the most amazing fat you will ever know.  Cutting the duck skin in a cross hatch pattern is highly recommended.  Simply make diagonal cuts starting from the smallest part of the duck breast, then make longer cuts over the smaller ones.  It’s like scoring your baked ham.

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As you can see this duck breast is perfectly moist, dripping with flavor and the juices stayed in because it was allowed to rest.  You want the duck to be served at medium rare.  Serve this with the sauce of your choice, or over a bed of lovely baby greens with a drizzle of a Dijon vinaigrette.  It is the perfect pamper yourself meal, that I didn’t mind sharing with my fireman!


Perfectly Pan Seared Duck Breast

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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A perfectly seared, full on flavor duck breast, that is simply elegant and indulgent!

  • Be sure to save your duck fat, so you can make my Duck Fat Oven Roasted Steak Fries with Truffle Salt and Parmesan.   I have two jars designated for fat in my house one contains leftover bacon fat, that is what I used when I made my Cinnamon Apple Muffins with Maple Bacon Glaze, and the other contains duck fat!  If you aren’t already stockpiling fat, you need to start ASAP!  Trust me, you will be so glad you did and you will find uses for them.  I whisk bacon fat into my dressings, and vinaigrettes, use it in pasta dishes, minestrone soup to lightly saute veg before the broth goes in.  So good and a way to add flavor without going too crazy, a little bit goes a long way!
  • Credit:


  • 1 duck breast
  • 1 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. of Chinese Five spice (my go to spice for many things)
  • 1 tsp. of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Take duck breast out of refrigerator and allow it to rest at room temperature for at least 30 min.   When duck has rested, take a sharp knife and begin to score the skin, being careful not to cut into the meat.  You want to score it so the duck will render the fat and permeate the meat, with what can only be described as the best fat known to man, with a flavor profile that makes me giddy with delight!
  2. Season generously with salt and pepper, then in a small bowl mix the garlic powder, Chinese Five spice, and cayenne pepper then sprinkle it over both sides of the duck.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°.   Meanwhile heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
  4. When pan is screaming hot, place duck breast skin side down to sear.  Do not play peek a boo, leave it to sear for 6 minutes, pressing down with tongs or your fingers to make sure the duck adheres to the bottom of the hot skillet, you don’t need oil the duck skin has plenty.  Trust me!  Let the fat render and enjoy the smells of heaven!  After 6 minutes, flip over skin side up and roast in the oven for 8-10 min.  This will give you perfectly roasted medium rare duck.  Remove from the oven, and allow the duck to rest tented lightly with foil, for at least 5 minutes.  After five minutes slice in nice pieces for serving over a bed of baby greens.  Devour!!!

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