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Up close pan seared duck breasts

Pan Fried Duck Breast

  • Author: Michelle Minnaar
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Pan Fried Duck Breast is one of the easiest French recipes you’ll find. Best served with orange sauce, greens and dauphinoise potatoes.


  • 2 large duck breasts
  • salt, to taste


  1. Score each duck breast’s skin with a sharp knife, ensuring not to cut into the meat.
  2. Season generously with salt and leave the duck breasts to stand for 15 minutes. Pat both sides dry with a paper towel.
  3. Place the duck breasts skin side down in a cold frying pan and switch on the heat to a medium-high setting.
  4. Wait. Leave the duck undisturbed for around 3-5 minutes (depending on size of breasts) and watch as the fat melts, which lubricates the meat. Using a spatula or tongs, you can press down on the meat side to ensure the skin is evenly cooked.
  5. Flip the breasts over and cook for 3-4 minutes, all depending on how well you like your duck cooked.
  6. We advise medium-rare pink. If the duck is thicker on one side, tip the breasts onto the thick sides and allow to cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  7. Remove from the pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  8. Serve with your choice of vegetables and accompanying sauce. I suggest dauphinoise potatoes, steamed broccoli and orange sauce. Enjoy!


The cooking time depends on the size of duck breasts you bought. Mallard, pintail, canvasbacks and domestic ducks are large in size and may need 5-8 minutes for the fat to melt away perfectly.

  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Pan Fry
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: pan fried duck breast, duck breast recipe, how to cook duck breast, duck breast dish