Duck breast or magret de canard in French cuisine is the breast meat of the Moulard duck with a thick layer of fat.
Most people tend to eat duck breast only at a restaurant because they find it too difficult to make at home, however this recipe is so easy, you will add it regularly to your menu!
Important steps when cooking duck breast
Score the skin of the duck breast.
Trim the duck breast with a sharp knife and score the skin. Making shallow criss cross incisions on the skin will help rendering fat and make the skin crispier.
Don’t overheat the pan
We recommend using a deep cocotte or cast iron pan as this will prevent the fat splashing around. You should first place the duck breast skin down while heating the pan to a medium heat.
Serve duck pink
If there is too much fat rendered, you can remove some before flipping the duck, but be aware that duck fat adds flavour. Unlike other poultry, the flesh of duck breast is red and is usually served pink.
Very little can go wrong when you make this recipe, open a bottle of wine (Pinot Noir pairs well with duck, or learn more about about other types of wine to combine), get into the kitchen, enjoy cooking et bon appétit!
Duck Breast with Peppercorn Mignonette
Prepare the duck breast
- Mix and crush the peppercorns to make ‘mignonette”.
- Use a sharp knife to trim the duck magret, then make shallow criss cross incisions on the skin and season with salt and a pinch of peppercorn mignonette.
- Warm a sauté pan or a cocotte without any oil or fat over a medium heat. Cook the duck breast skin side down for 5-6 minutes until the skin has released the fat. If necessary, lower the heat to avoid burning the skin. When the skin becomes brown and crispy, flip it over and continue cooking for 4 minutes.
- Rest the duck breast on a wire rack with a catch pan underneath for 10 minutes and cover with thin foil to keep it warm.
Prepare the sauce
- Discard the excess fat from the pan and sweat the shallots until translucent.
- Add the rest of the peppercorn mignonette, the cognac, port wine and cook for 2 minutes.
- Pour in the demi-glace and the cream, stir to combine and cook until the sauce thickens and then adjust the seasoning to taste with salt.
- Slice the duck breast and serve with the peppercorn cream sauce.
- The white peppercorns are actually black peppercorns without the outer casing.
- The white peppercorns are ideal for use in any white sauce, mash, souffle….
- If the peppercorn cream sauce is too peppery add a little more cream or/and “monter au beurre” with a knob of cold butter.
- The rendered duck fat can be used to roast potatoes.