These days, duck is readily available in most supermarkets at reasonable prices, but many Irish home-cooks are unsure of how to cook it. We’re here to take the doubt out of duck breasts – just follow our step-by-step guide below!
Seven steps to perfect duck
- Preheat the oven to 220˚C/200˚C fan/gas mark 7.
- Pat the duck breasts dry with kitchen paper.
- Use a sharp knife to cut a criss-cross pattern in the skin of the breasts, being careful not to cut all the way through to the meat. Season both sides with salt and black pepper.
- Place the breasts in a dry, cold non-stick pan over a medium heat, skin side down. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until the skin is very crisp, carefully draining off the fat into a small bowl at regular intervals.
- Turn the breasts over and cook for a further two minutes.
- Place the breasts on a rack in a roasting tin and cook in the middle of the oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on how rare you like it.
- Transfer to a warm plate, cover with tin foil and allow to rest for 8-10 minutes before serving.
- If you wish to marinate the duck, do this after step 3. Place them in the fridge for the desired marinating time, allowing them 30 minutes to come back to room temperature before you cook them.
- To tell if your duck breast is cooked, you can try this simple method: The best way to check if the meat is to your liking is to compare the ‘feel’ of the meat when hot, in comparison to your face, – in the same way as steak. Prod the meat, then your face. The duck will feel like various parts of your face as it cooks: Cheek = rare Chin = Medium Forehead = well done.
- It is very important to rest your duck before serving; this equilibrates the temperature and spreads the moisture around.
- Save the fat from your roast duck and use it to make the best ever, most crispy potatoes.