1. Season both sides of the duck breast with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Allow the breast to rest for about 10 minutes. Preheat a sauté pan with olive oil over medium-high heat. 00:11
2. After the duck has rested, place it into the pan skin-side down. Use your fingertips to apply firm pressure to the top of the breast. Allow the fat to render for 10 to 12 minutes. Be sure to drain the rendered fat every few minutes and set it aside to use later. Check the color of the skin half-way through. If the skin is browning too quickly, turn down the heat slightly. 00:39
3. Flip the breast over so that the skin is facing up. Pour half of the reserved duck fat back into the pan. Allow the breast to sear for several minutes, or until the bottom achieves an even golden-brown color. 01:37
4. Add the butter and sage. Move the butter around the pan until it melts completely. Using a metal spoon, baste the breast by continuously pouring the butter and fat over the duck breast. Cook until medium-rare. Remove the breast from the pan and allow it to rest for another 10 minutes. 02:04
5. Use a sharp knife to slice the breast against the grain at a slight bias. Season the slices with a pinch of sea salt and serve. 03:45
What You'll Need
- Sauté pan
- Metal spoon
- Chef's knife or slicing knife
- Duck breast (1)
- Olive oil (1 tablespoon)
- Butter (3 tablespoons)
- Fresh sage (1 sprig)
- Sea salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
Rendering is a technique that uses low heat to melt fat away from muscle tissue. The resulting liquid is flavorful and can be used for other parts of the cooking process. Rendering fat from duck meat helps to make the skin crispy.
Basting is a technique where liquids (fat, juices, marinades, etc.) are continuously poured over proteins as they cook in order to keep them moist.
Letting the duck rest after being seasoned allows the flavors of the seasoning to soak into the meat. Allowing it to rest after being cooked helps the meat retain its natural juices.