Boneless Duck breasts are very easy to work with and can produce a very simple but elegant meal. In this pan-seared duck breast recipe, we take advantage of the convenience of the prepared breast. With a bit of perfect timing put together this elegant meal in 20 minutes or less.
The secret to the great potatoes in a classic French Bistro is duck fat. We are going to use that secret. In this recipe, we get the technique and timing right and cook the potatoes in the fat from the duck breast. Like so many other French recipes in my collection, this dish is, in reality, only the combination of great ingredients and great techniques.
This easy duck breast recipe will definitely reward your efforts and you will love the potatoes.
Notes on Ingredients
Boneless Duck Breast
The convenience of boneless chicken breasts now can be found with duck. The boneless duck breast though will differ with a thick layer of duck fat on the breast. The meat is quite lean, we are going to cook the fat away and use a small part to cook the potatoes.
The recipe calls for golden potatoes. They work well for taste, but the most important requirement is size and shape. We need oblong potatoes that are not too fat so that the cooking time can be reduced to roughly equal to the cooking time of the duck.
Melting blueberry preserves into the fond produces a quick and easy sauce for the duck. I like the taste of the blueberries with the duck and when mixed with a bit of thyme completes to transformation from breakfast condiment to elegant sauce.
Hint: Click on the photos below to expand.
Notes of Techniques
Note the following timing chart. This lays out the cooking of the duck and the potatoes simultaneously, making this a very convenient dish when entertaining. There is even a bit of time for assembling a salad to accompany the duck and potatoes.
Click to expand timing chart
Searing the Duck
For this recipe start the duck by cooking over low heat — releasing some fat. We will use this fat to start the potatoes. Continue cooking over low heat for a few more minutes — releasing more fat. After the potatoes are started and more fat is released, increase the heat on the duck to get a nice crispy skin.
Preparing the Potatoes
The potatoes should be quartered lengthwise as shown in the photos. This gives 3 sides and the resulting cooking time approximately equals that of the duck.
- 2 boneless duck breasts, fat scored approx. 1/4 inches, salt flesh side (up to one hour in advance, if possible)
- 4 small-medium golden potatoes, cleaned and quartered lengthwise
- Salt and Pepper
- 3-4 tablespoons of orange marmalade or blueberry preserves.
- fresh or dried thyme, to taste (optional)
- Place saucepan over low heat. (Make sure the pan is large enough so that the breasts are not crowded.) Place the breast fat side down. This first step slowly renders some duck fat for the potatoes
- When approximately 3 to 4 tablespoons of duck fat have been rendered spoon it into a medium size skillet large enough to brown the potatoes. Heat over medium heat. Place the wedges in the pan with one cut side down to cook.
- Raise the duck to medium-high to sear the duck fat. This should take about 6 minutes.
- While the duck is searing turn the potatoes to cook the second cut side.
- After the fat side is seared, there should be a substantial amount of duck fat in the pan. Spoon out all the fat you can and reserve for other uses.
Flip the duck over to continue cooking. Cook the duck for 4 minutes or so depending on thickness.
- After turning the duck, turn the potatoes to sear the skin side down.
- Remove duck breast and place on cutting board. Add the marmalade or preserves to the pan to meld and dissolve any fond on the pan. This should take no more than a few seconds. Remove from heat.
Cut the duck breast on a bias for serving. Serve sliced duck, topped with sauce, and add potatoes, salad or another green vegetable.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 434Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 163mgSodium: 201mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 3gSugar: 16gProtein: 33g
Calculated Nutrition is estimated.