This is the simplest Duck Breast Recipe you will find! This Duck Breast is made with wild duck and contains absolutely no fat, like domestics. It is crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside!
Unlike domestic duck, wild duck contains very little fat! Our local population of wild ducks are well fed. There are many cornfields locally, which, along with aquatic vegetation, seeds, nuts and berries, are their main diet. Some ducks will also eat salamanders, tadpoles and insects, although they are mainly vegetarian.
Duck species suitable for food in the Northeast US
The duck breasts we made today are wood ducks. Other wild ducks that are suitable for food are mallard, teal, pintail, black duck, and others. Many people steer clear of the diving ducks, like merganser, because they eat fish and, through biological magnification, may contain higher levels of heavy metals.
What does duck taste like?
Domestic duck is more fatty than chicken. It has a texture and flavor more like the thigh of the chicken.
Domestic duck is best roasted. Using a sharp knife, score the skin in a criss-cross pattern without going into the meat layer. This will allow the fat to render from the duck and the finished product will be more appetizing.
Wild duck breast has a denser texture than domestic duck but the flavor is more robust and much less fatty.
Duck breasts will have the same appearance as a beef steak, after cooking.
How to clean a wild duck
Cleaning the ducks requires using a sharp knife. A filet knife works great for this. Field dress the duck. (remove the innards.)
Although, you can pluck the feathers and save the entire duck, it takes a considerable amount of time, if you don’t have the right tools.
It is much easier to skin the duck whole. Using your sharp knife, remove the breasts skin. Then run your knife very close to the breast bone to remove the breast from the body. (Use the bones and the remainder of the meat for fresh duck stock)
What you need
- boneless skinless duck breast
- sea salt or kosher salt
- black pepper to taste
- unsalted butter
- Olive Oil
- brown sugar
- half red wine and half sherry vinegars or just use red wine.
- onion, grated into pot
- fresh ginger, grated into pot
- blueberries fresh or frozen
- freshly cracked black pepper
- cornstarch mixed with 1 Tbsp. warm water – used to thicken sauce, if desired.
How to make this duck breast recipe
- Salt duck breasts heavily. Let salt stand on them for about 15 minutes.
- Rinse off salt and pat very dry.
- Meanwhile, start sauce. Add vinegar to make saucepan.
- Measure brown sugar. Add to vinegar.
- Grate onion and ginger into sauce ingredients.
- Add blueberries.
- Mix. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer.
- Melt butter and olive oil in cast iron skillet. Heat to high. Place seasoned duck breasts into hot fat.
- Flip when breasts they turn brown on the edges. Notice the two on the far right. You could also grill the meat over medium heat on the grill and baste with butter.
- Cook until breasts measure about 135°F, for medium rare. **See recipe notes** Remove to a clean plate and tent with aluminum foil.
- Add cornstarch slurry to sauce. Allow to simmer 5 minutes to thicken. Stirring occasionally.
Once sauce thickens, slice duck breasts thinly and serve with sauce and your choice of sides.
What to serve with pan seared duck breasts
Other delicious Field to Table Recipes
- Venison Meatballs
- Venison Stew
- Rabbit Loin Parmigiana
- Rabbit Coconut Curry
- Venison Burger
- Alligator Hush Puppies
- Roast Wild Duck
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Tools I use to make this recipe
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That’s how easy it is to make this Duck Breast Recipe. Thanks for stopping by today!
Enjoy! And have fun cooking!
Duck Breast Recipe
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar half red wine and 1/2 sherry vinegars or just use red wine.
- 1 tablespoon grated onion
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 cup Blueberries fresh or frozen
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- pinch Salt
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 Tbsp. warm water
- ½ teaspoon grated garlic
- Salt duck breasts and set aside.
- Measure all sauce ingredients into small sauce pan, except cornstarch and water. Bring to boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until duck is done.
- After letting salt sit on duck breasts about 15 minutes, rinse salt off and dry thoroughly with paper towel. Season with salt and pepper.
- Melt butter and olive oil in cast iron pan. Heat to high.
- Add duck breasts to pan. Sear on one side. When color of breast starts to change on the sides, flip breasts and brown the other side. (See step by step photographs in post above.)
- USDA recommends cooking cooking duck to 170°F. We like our medium rare, so we cook ours to 135°F. Measure temperature with an instant read meat thermometer.
- Set duck breasts on a clean plate. Loosely cover with foil.
- To finish sauce, mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Add to sauce. Cook about 5 minutes, until thickened and smooth.
- Serve duck with sauce.
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Originally published November 8, 2019. Updated November 9, 2021.