Sautéed Duck Breasts


by: Umberto

The secret to a successful sautéed duck breast is to get the thick layer offat that coats it to render and turn crispy without overcooking the meat. You can always trim off the fat, but it is awfully flavorful, and your guests always have the choice of not eating it anyway. One trick to get the fat to render as quickly as possible, before the meat overcooks, is to make a series of slashes through the fat at 90-degree angles, stopping just short of the meat. The breast is then sautéed over medium heat, almost entirely on the skin side. If the heat is too low the meat will overcook before the fat renders and the skin browns. If the heat is too high, the skin will brown before it has had a chance to render any fat and before the meat can cook. The fat released by duck breasts, especially mullard breasts, is delicious for sautéing, particularly eggs and poultry. If you want to save it, pour the fat out of the pan halfway through the sautéing and keep it in the refrigerator for weeks or in the freezer for months. Don't wait until the end of sautéing. By that time, the fat has started to burn. Makes 4 main-course servings.


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serves: 4

4 (about 7 ounces each) Pekin duck breasts (or 2 mullard duck breasts) (about 1 pound each)



Nutrition Facts
Sautéed Duck Breasts

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 431

  • Total Fat: 22.6 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 5.9 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 226.2 mg
  • Sodium: 218.3 mg
  • Total Carbs: 0 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 0 g
  •     Sugars: 0 g
  • Protein: 53.1 g

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1.  Score the skin on the breasts at an angle as deeply as you can without cutting into the meat. Score again at a 90-degree angle to the first set of cuts.

2.  Season the skin side of the breasts.

3.  Put the breasts skin side down in a sauté pan over medium heat. Season the meat side.

4.  After about 8 to 10 minutes for Pekin ducks and 15 to 18 minutes for mullards, turn the breasts over.

5.  Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes on the meat side.

6.  Slice the breasts and serve.

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