Cooking Duck Breasts - Step By Step

Seared duck breast with Asian pan sauceSo many people in North America order duck when dining out, yet feel it is not something they would dare attempt at home. In France, the supermarkets have aisles and aisles of fresh, frozen and prepared duck products. Cuisine et Château’s Thierry Meret has prepared this step-by-step recipe for all of you to get comfortable with this fantastic foul! The breast (un magret) is prepared very differently than the legs, making the duck much more versatile than a chicken or a turkey. Whole young ducks are available in the frozen sections of most supermarkets in North America. It’s like a mini cooking class!

Duck Breast with Asian Pan Sauce


  • 2 duck breasts
  • 125ml red wine
  • 15ml soy sauce
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tsp. whole coriander seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Crushed black pepper

[twocol_one]Marinating Duck Breasts

Searing duck breasts

Straining sauce

Finishing sauce with butter

Slicing duck breast

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Marinating duck breasts

  1. Place all ingredients together and refrigerate for 2 hours. Remove the breast from the marinade and pat dry. Reserve the marinade for the sauce.

Cooking the breasts

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 360F.
  2. Season the breast with fresh crushed peppercorns.
  3. Place a heavy saucepan or cast iron pan on full heat and place the duck breast skin-side down in the pan. (No oil required.)
  4. When the skin has crisped up, flip the breasts on the other side and turn off the heat immediately.
  5. After one minute, flip the breasts back skin-side down and place the pan in the pre-heated oven.
  6. After 2 minutes, turn the oven off.
  7. Wait another 2 minutes and remove the breasts from the oven.
  8. Place the breasts on a lined plate with paper towel and keep warm in the turned-off oven.
  9. Place the empty pan back on the heat and pour the marinade into it through a strainer. Whisk vigorously and allow the liquid to reduce by half.
  10. Turn off the heat and add a tablespoon of butter; whisk well. Pour the sauce into a small sauceboat or Asian spoon and serve along the sliced duck breast. Garnish with roasted beet quinoa salad and steamed snap peas.