Storified by ebanreb· Sat, Apr 13 2013 21:20:20
Use a sharp knife to make slits in the skin and poke it with a fork. Add plenty of salt and then follow the recipe. Bake the bird breast down for three quarters of the total cooking time. Stick a fork under the legs and wings to help the fat drain out.
Use the broiler in the oven during the final quarter of the cooking time to finish cooking the bird. This also helps to crisp up the skin and keep the bird moist. Since you are only slitting the bird's fatty layer, you can tuck some herbs, spices, or seasonings in there. As the fat melts, the seasonings will infuse the meat with flavor(omelette truffe). You can use these cooking tips for nearly any duck breast recipe.
Recipe for Pan Fried Duck Breast with an Onion Marmalade
Duck breast is so easy to prepare and the following recipe is best served medium rare. Onion marmalade is a great sauce to serve with this recipe but you can make any sauce you want. A fresh bird gives much nicer results so do not use frozen. You can ask your butcher to order fresh duck for you if he does not have any in stock.
What you will need:
How to make it:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Score the fat on each breast to make a crisscross pattern. Keep the cuts shallow and do not cut into the meat. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the meat. Use plenty of salt to help make the skin crispy.
Heat an ovenproof skillet over a moderately high heat and put the breasts skin side down. Cook them for about five minutes or until the outside is golden brown. You might have to turn down the temperature since you want the outside to be crispy but you do not want to overcook the meat.
Drain off the fat and keep it for a future roast potatoes recipe. Put the skillet with the duck breasts in the oven and cook for twelve minutes for medium rare. You should watch the duck carefully because the thickness of the breasts can affect the cooking time. A thermometer inserted into the center of the breast should read 125 to 130 degrees F for medium rare.
Do not turn the breasts over during the cooking time; keep them skin side down. Transfer them to a warm plate skin side up and let them rest for ten minutes while you make a sauce or finish off your side dishes. Slice the meat half an inch thick on the diagonal and serve.