Serving medium rare to medium slices of duck breast has been the rage in restaurants from coast to coast for years. But how many times is this same duck served with a thick layer of tough fat crowning each slice? I imagine the response might be "very often" . Maybe you thought that duck (or rather the skin) was naturally chewy and best trimmed from each slice prior to consumption.

About 10 years ago, I met Burt Culver, CEO of Culver Duck Farms. Burt has always had a mission to teach chefs how to cook duck breasts so that the meat remains medium rare to medium while still developing a beautifully crispy, and non-chewy skin. The whole secret is to cook the breast slowly on its skin so that the fat has a chance to render, or melt out of the skin. Once the skin has lost much of its fat, it will not only shrink in size, but will then become crispy. Patience is indeed a virtue.

set temperature of stove burner to medium high

Temperature: Medium / High

salt and pepper added to duck breast

Salt and pepper skin

duck breast skin side down cooking in pan

Skin side down -approximately 12 - 14 minutes

draining fat from pan of duck breast after cooking

Drain off excess fat as desired, until skin is crisp and rendering stops.


Option A or B:

duck breast being grilled

A. Grill
Grill 1 Minute Skin Side
Grill 1 Minute Meat Side
(or as desired)

duck breast frying in a pan

B. Pan
Cook Meat Side Down
- 45 Seconds for Medium
- 60 Seconds for Well Done