Hello and thank you for reading my article,
I want to talk about one of my favorite things in the world, a beautifully cooked medium rare crispy skinned Duck breast. It is something many restaurants seem to mess up and it drives me crazy. It is really very simple just requires a bit of time and patience and most importantly love.
First step is to trim your duck breast so you only have about a 1/4 "of skin past the meat. Lightly score the skin of the Duck breast in a criss cross pattern. Make sure when scoring you do not cut into the meat.
Second step is to acquire a descent cast iron pan or just a solid pan, nonstick doesn't work well for this application. Do not preheat your pan before cooking the Duck. Pat dry the duck breast with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Place the Duck breast in a COLD pan with no oil skin side down and then set to medium heat. If your doing multiple duck breasts be sure not to overcrowd the pan work in batches if you have to.
What your looking for is most of the fat to render out from the Duck. Continue rendering skin side down and don't let the entire Duck breast become covered in fat, drain off the fat continuously so you always have about a 1/4 inch layer of fat. By the time the skin is a beautiful even golden brown the fat will be rendered out and the Duck should be medium rare. If its Golden brown and crispy but you want it to cook more, baste it using a metal spoon with the Duck fat in the pan. You can add some sprigs of thyme to the pan while doing this to enhance the flavor. If however your Duck is a nice Medium rare but not yet crispy, crank the heat a bit and push down so the skin is pressed firm against the pan. You can also remove the Duck, Let your pan heat up and put it back in to crisp it up without overcooking. Once the Duck is to your liking rest skin side up in a warm place for 3-4 minutes. Slice and serve with your favorite sauce, a fruit based Demi Glace such as a Cherry Demi works great.