Easy Crispy Duck Breast

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(Paleo, AIP, GAPS, Wahls, Low-FODMAP)

Easy Crispy Duck Breast | Phoenix Helix

“If you will stay close to nature, to its simplicity, to the small things hardly noticeable, those things can unexpectedly become great and immeasurable.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke


This might be the simplest recipe I’ve ever prepared, and the most delicious. My friend Karen was raving about the duck breast from US Wellness, and I’ve been testing out different ways to prepare it ever since. My first efforts in the oven weren’t very successful, so I decided to switch to a skillet. I scoured food magazines and cooking forums, gleaning various tips, and tried lots of different methods before settling on this combination. To me, it’s perfection, yielding a crispy skin, tender meat, and plenty of duck fat leftover for future cooking projects. Added bonus? It’s easy and fast to prepare.

serves 2


2 duck breasts
sea salt


  1. Pat duck breasts dry with a paper towel.
  2. Using a sharp knife, crosshatch the skin. (If you’re not sure what this means, here’s a picture.) You want to cut through the skin, but not so deep it cuts into the meat. The fat lies between the skin and the meat, and the crosshatch pattern allows it to render as it cooks.
  3. Sprinkle both sides of duck breasts with sea salt and then put them skin-side-down in a large, cold, dry skillet. Cover with a fat splatter guard, if you have one. Otherwise, leave the skillet uncovered.
  4. Turn heat to medium and set timer for 15 minutes. That’s approximately how long it takes for the fat to melt out from under the skin and into the pan, which allows the skin to turn crispy. It might take a few minutes less or a few minutes more, so keep an eye on it.
  5. Once the skin looks thin, golden and crispy, turn the duck breasts over and cook another 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from pan and allow to rest 5 minutes. Then carve into diagonal slices.
  7. Save the rendered fat to cook other things, and keep it stored in the refrigerator. Root vegetables are especially delicious cooked in duck fat.

Looking for another quick weeknight meal? Try
Steak Salad with Arugula

Steak Salad with Arugula

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This post is linked to the following blog carnivals:
Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable, Fat Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Paleo Rodeo, Fast and Easy Paleo Recipes,

Easy Crispy Duck Breast | Phoenix Helix
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18 thoughts on “Easy Crispy Duck Breast

  1. Pingback: Easy Crispy Duck Breast | Paleo Digest

  2. i almost laughed when i saw this recipe because i found a duck breast at the store today and got it!!! it was $12 but it’s my birthday tuesday so i figured i’d splurge. i’ve never tried it before so i can’t wait to use your easy recipe!! i’ve made duck legs many times in the oven and it always turns out AMAZING.

      • this was the bomb!! besides the fact that my duck skin was kind of burned after only 7 minutes, it was still very tasty!! once i flipped it, i cooked for other side for maybe 5 minutes for a medium rare duck.

        • Did you start with a cold pan? That was the key to mine not burning. Your stove might run hot though, and if that’s the case, try medium-low next time. I’m glad you liked it anyway. I could seriously eat this every night! But I won’t 🙂

          • Yes it was cold. I actually just got it for my bday!! Ive never used cast iron before so i figured id try it with this. I love crispy skin so i will know how to cook it at a med low heat next time. It was beyond delicious!

  3. Pingback: Crispy Duck Breast, French Toast Muffins, Pumpkin Cookies and More

  4. My husband loves Duck and I just so happen to have two beautiful duck breasts already scored and waiting on me to come back to them. 🙂 We’re definitely looking forward to trying this tonight.

  5. Pingback: 55 Super Easy Paleo Recipes

    • Hmmmm. That would be a totally different recipe, since this one depends on the fat and skin. If it were me, I would heat a good amount of duck fat in a large skillet over medium heat and fry the skinless duck breasts maybe 5 minutes per side, adjusting the time up or down depending on the size of the breasts. You have a nice friend!

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