Classic Pan Seared Duck Breast

What is your favorite dish to celebrate a special occasion with? Whether you’re looking for the perfect New Year’s Eve dinner or ideas for date night at home, Classic Pan Seared Duck Breast is sure to become a new tradition.

Classic Pan Seared Duck Breast

Pop open the bubbly and pour a Blood Orange Mimosa. This rich and decadent dish is restaurant worthy but with a few simple tricks and tips easy to achieve at home.


Classic Pan Seared Duck Breast is an elegant dish that will turn any dinner into a celebration. The best part aside from the duck, you only need a few ingredients to highlight the luxurious flavor of the duck.

Seared Duck Breast
  • Duck Breast – Duck is a darker meat than other varieties of poultry resulting in a deeper, richer flavor. While it cooks similarly to a steak it is still considererd a white meat as it contains low myoglobin levels like poultry.
  • Salt – Helps enhance the natural flavors of the duck while also helping achieve that seared skin.
  • Black Pepper – Adds a hint of earthy spice to the duck. It doesn’t take much to allow this sumptuous meat to shine.
  • Garlic Cloves – Gives a savory note while adding a bright, sharp accent to the meat.
  • Rosemary – Woodsy, herbaceous, and deeply aromatic, rosemary gives a little freshness.
  • Cranberry Sauce – The tartness of cranberry sauce is the perfect balance to the rich meat of the duck.

How to Make Classic Pan Seared Duck Breast

Classic Pan Seared Duck Breast is special enough for any occasion, yet easy enough to turn dinner into a celebration just because. With a little prep at the beginning this stunning dish comes together with effortless ease.

Time needed: 30 minutes

Date night gets an upgrade with this simply elegant dish. The only question is, what are you serving with it?

  1. Mise en Place

    Prep your duck breast. Make sure you thoroughly pat duck of the breasts dry. This will help the skin render and crisp. use a sharp knife to score the skin, but not cut through the meat. Seared Duck Breast

  2. Season

    Season both sides of the duck breasts with salt and pepper. Seared Duck

  3. Render

    Place the duck breasts skin side down in a cold sauté pan on medium heat. This will allow the fat to gently render and the skin to crisp. Let it cook until the fat has rendered off and the skin is crisp, about 8-12 minutes.

  4. Drain

    Drain the pan but save it for other recipes.

  5. Flip

    Flip your duck breasts over and allow the second side to cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the rosemary and garlic cloves and using a spoon, baste the duck with the aromatic fat until the internal temperature has reached 125 degrees.Seared Duck Breast

  6. Rest

    Allow the duck to rest at least ten minutes before slicing. This will allow the juices to redistribute into the meat.

  7. Serve

    Serve the seared duck with cranberry sauce and enjoy!


This is a classic method to sear duck breast. You can serve it with any of your favorite sauces. If cherries are in season, Summer Cherry Salsa would bring a bright fresh note and pop of tartness. Orange is also a classic pairing with duck as well as flavors like hoisin sauce.


Classic Seared Duck Breast

You will need an instant read thermometer for this recipe. Because of carryover cooking while meat rests, you want to remove your seared duck from the pan at 125 degrees.


Save that rendered duck fat! Because of its high smoke point, it can stand up to food cooked at high heat such as roasted potatoes and seared steaks. It will keep up to six months in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Allow it to come to room temperature before using it.

Top Tip for Classic Pan Seared Duck Breast

Seared Duck Breast

A dry duck is a happy duck. Make sure you thoroughly pat your duck breast dry before seasoning them. The combination of dried and scored skin with the gentle rendering of the fat will give you that beautiful crispy and golden finish.

Classic Seared Duck Breast

Classic Pan Seared Duck Breast

Rich duck is simply seared with aromatic garlic and rosemary.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 19 minutes
Resting Time 19 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 1


  • 1 knife
  • 1 skillet or sauté pan


  • 2 duck breasts
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • fresh rosemary sprigs
  • cranberry sauce for serving


  • Remove your duck from the package and thoroughly pat both sides dry.
  • Use a sharp knife to score the skin, careful not to cut through the meat.
  • Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Place the duck skin side down in a cold sauté pan on medium heat.
  • Allow the duck breast to cook for 8-12 minutes or until the fat has begun to render and the skin is crispy.
  • Drain the fat from the pan, reserving it for other recipes such as roasted potatoes.
  • Flip the duck to the other side. Allow it to cook for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the rosemary and garlic cloves. Using a spoon begin basting the duck with the aromatic fat.
  • Remove the duck from the pan when it reaches 125 degrees.
  • Allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  • Serve with cranberry sauce and enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Mention @uncomplicatedchef or tag #uncomplicatedchef!

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