This easy seared duck is made with duck meat cooked in a hot pan and topped with an easy mustard pan sauce.
Lately I’ve been expanding my dinner repertoire with some lesser-known entrées.
For instance, duck!
At least where I live, duck isn’t that common on the menu. But it’s one of those meats that feels a little extra fancy, and with good reason: it can be rather fatty and rich.
At least for now, though, I’m keeping it simple with foolproof, basic techniques. Slow-roasted duck with sweet and sour sauce was a success! And for a faster option, pan-searing really is the way to go.
For this seared duck, we’ll also be whisking up a mustard and honey sauce, with everything ready to serve in about 30 minutes!
What Kind of Equipment Do I Need For Seared Duck?
I recommend using a fairly large pan to minimize splatter from the duck fat.
I use a Lodge 12″ carbon steel skillet.
And, yes, putting the duck in a cold, dry pan is correct. The duck has enough fat, so you don’t need to add extra oil or butter!
Can I Use Wild Duck (Game Meat)?
Sure, you can use wild duck!
Wild game duck tends to be smaller, so the pieces may cook more quickly than what you would buy at a store. Your thermometer will help if that’s the case.
Do I Really Have To Cook It Skin-Side Down?
Yes. There’s a layer of fat under the skin, and you want to cook that side first to help render the fat.
How to Make Seared Duck
Start by patting the duck dry and salting both sides.
Then place the pieces in a cold, dry pan with the skin-side down.
Cook for about 10 minutes on medium-low heat. The skin should be getting crispy.
Flip the pieces, and cook them for another 6 to 8 minutes.
Check the progress with your thermometer. A good temperature could be anywhere from 145 degrees to 165 degrees, depending on whether you’re aiming for medium, medium-well, or done.
When the duck is done, take it out of the pan and let it rest on a cutting-board skin-side up. Leave the duck fat in the pan.
How to Make the Mustard Sauce
In a bowl, whisk together some white wine vinegar, yellow mustard, honey, garlic clove, and optional red chili flakes.
Add this mixture to the duck fat that was left in the pan, and cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Keep whisking! The sauce should be smooth and thick by the time you’re done.
Finally, slice the duck, and serve it with a drizzle of sauce!
Seared Duck with Mustard Sauce
2 Days (Fridge)
- 2 skin-on duck breasts (~16 ounces)
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar Or use rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Pat the duck dry on both sides. Sprinkle both sides with salt.Place in a cold, dry pan skin-side down and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook about 10 minutes, or until the skin is brown and crispy.
- Flip the duck, and cook about 6-8 more minutes, or until the duck reaches desired doneness. For medium doneness, cook to 145°F; for medium-well doneness, cook to 155°F; or for well-done cook to 165°. (See recipe notes)After removing the cooked duck from the pan, place it on a cutting board to rest skin-side up.
- Leave the duck fat in the pan after removing duck breasts. (You should have ~ ⅛ cup of fat in the pan, slightly more or less is fine.)Whisk together the sauce ingredients and then add them to the pan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sauce is smooth and thickened (about 2 minutes).
- Slice the duck and serve with the sauce.