How to cook Duck Breast

We show you how to cook duck breast perfectly in our video and step by step instructions. Check out our handy hints and tips to make sure your results are extra special.

Step by step instructions


Preheat your oven to 200°C, Fan 180°C, Gas Mark 6 and pat the skin of the duck breast with a kitchen towel to remove excess moisture.


Score the skin of the duck breast with a knife.


Season both sides of the duck breast with salt and ground pepper.


Place the duck breast skin side down in a hot non stick pan on a medium heat without oil for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Pour off the fat regularly and seal the other side for 1 minute.


Place the duck breasts skin side up on a rack in a roasting tin in the middle of the pre-heated oven. Cook for 15-18 minutes, depending how you like your duck cooked.


When the duck is cooked to your liking rest the meat in a warm place for 5-10 minutes before serving. All ovens vary in performance, this is a guide only.

Hints & Tips

To get a crispy skin on your duck breasts, cook skin side down in a hot pan on a medium heat until golden brown. Then simply put in the oven for the required cooking time, skin side up.

To tell if your duck breast is cooked, you can try this simple method:

The best way to check if the meat is to your liking is to compare the ‘feel’ of the meat when hot, in comparison to your face, – in the same way as steak. Prod the meat, then your face. The duck will feel like various parts of your face as it cooks:

Cheek = rare
Chin = Medium
Forehead = well done.

It is very important to rest your duck before serving; this equilibrates the temperature and spreads the moisture around.

You can easily make duck crackling by cutting the skin into thin strips and frying until crisp. Use this on salads or as part of your favourite duck recipe.

Save the fat from your roast duck to use for making delicious crispy potatoes.

When plums are in season stew them and save some of the juice. Cook the duck breasts as instructed on the package. 10 mins before end of favoured time of cooking pour over two/three tablespoons of the plum juice. This gives a slight tangy flavour to the sweetness/richness of the duck.