Sliced Duck

Recipe: Sautéed or Grilled Duck Breast

Sautéed or Grilled Duck Breast
Prep Time
15 mins

We owe today’s sautéed duck breast to Andre Daquin the famous chef and owner of the Hotel de France in Auch (Southwest France). Daquin first served the magret de Canard in 1965. Now it is served in most French restaurants from haut cuisine to the simple bistro and has become a classic way to prepare and serve duck breast. I offer two recipes for simple duck breast or magret and you can grill them or sautée them – I do both. One is a rub and the other is a marinade; both can be either grilled or sautéed. Any way you decide to prepare it, it should always be medium-rare to medium (anything more and you will not be pleased). And, cooking duck breast is almost like cooking a steak.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Servings: 2 people
Author: Moody's Foodie
Recipe 1 Using Rub
  • 2 duck breast lobes the Rohan duck is fabulous
  • 1 ½ t kosher salt
  • 1 ½ t minced shallots or 2 T fresh green onions
  • 1 t chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ t crumbled bay leaf
  • 12 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 garlic clove thinly sliced
Recipe 2 Using Marinade
  • 1 scant t kosher salt
  • ½ t fresh ground pepper
  • 1 t chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 t chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 generous t of minced garlic
  • 2-3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • Preparation using the rub:
Preparation Using Rub
  1. Roll the duck breasts in the rub mixture and stack the breasts, skin side down in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 24 hours, turning once.

  2. Rinse the duck breasts to remove the excess seasoning. Dry and bring to room temperature.

  3. Score duck skin and place the breasts skin side down in a heavy skillet (cast iron is best), if grilling, watch for flare-ups from the fat.

  4. Sear the breasts quickly, lower the heat, turn and sear the meat side; cook 2 to 4 minutes per side depending on thickness for medium rare.
  5. Transfer the breasts to a carving board, cover and let rest for 5 minutes (just like a steak). To serve, slice the breast crosswise on a diagonal.

Preparation Using Marinade
  1. Place duck breasts and marinade in a zip-lock bag ensuring marinade covers the breasts and refrigerate 6-24 hours, turning once.
  2. When ready to cook, remove from the fridge and bring to room temperature (about 1 hour) while still in the zip-lock bag and follow steps 3 through 5 above.
Recipe Notes

Wine pairing: A robust red is always good with duck; a Cabernet, a robust Merlot or hearty Red Blend.