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30 responses to “How to Cook Duck Breasts”

  1. Cheryl armstrong

    My husband Jeff fixed snow goose breast following these directions with the jazzy sauce from your book. We used apricot preserves for the sweet and rum for the spirits and it is one of the best three things we’ve ever eaten. Thanks

  2. Roy Harsch

    These undated instructions and photos should help anyone get the hang of your method much easier than the former ones. I need to get your cookbook. I have done goose breasts without their skin following your method and they have been good, not great like the ones with skin though. Really enjoy your comments and ideas. Unrelated to cooking ducks but do you ever cook a venison neck roast?

  3. Matthew Werner

    So what is the ideal finished temperature to aim for?

  4. Ashley

    We’re processing our first ducks. Do we need to reach a specific temperature for food safety? We will all be enjoying it, including our toddler and 7 year old. I have been searching for safe cooking temps for homestead raised ducks, but can’t seem to find much info. I always cook them medium, but wasn’t sure if that was high enough to kill any nasties. I appreciate your videos and recipes! Thank you!

  5. Harley

    Help, my two boys harvested 3 Muscovy on our property. Two 4lb hens and one 7lb drake. Not knowing any better we skinned them all. The drake was processed for a whole roast and the hens were boned. My question is do we need to use bacon or something to protect the meat during the cooking process. Any help would be much appreciated as we will be serving them for Christmas dinner. Thanks Harley

  6. Susan

    I just wanted to thank you for these instructions, I have just cooked the most fabulous domestic duck breast ever for Christmas, usually I cook meat instinctively but never having tackled duck before I found your advice spot on.

  7. Dede

    Which cookbook is the jazzy sauce in?

  8. Dede

    The post from Cheryl on 12-15-14 mentions a jazzy sauce from your book.

  9. AD

    The duck we get is often VERY fatty and as the fat renders out am I supposed to remove the fat as it cooks? If I don’t in a stainless steel skillet the duck is 1/2 covered in fat or more. I have done duck (4-5x) well in the past but I want restaurant-amazing… What am I missing? The duck is from a local store and marked as magret about a pound breast.

  10. Todd

    Hank, I tried this tonight with a Black Duck and you’ve made me a believer. Never again will I breast out a duck without the skin. Crispy and medium rare – I thought I was at a restaurant.

  11. Rob

    I just discovered your site looking for goose recipes. Have you tried sous vide? easiest way to get perfect duck breasts every time. I cook the breast as 130 for an hour and then about 3 minutes on medium heat skin side and 90 seconds on the meat side.

  12. Will

    Hank, I just wanted to share that I managed to shoot my first wild duck on new year’s eve. A Mallard male that was banded! Once I got it home I immediately consulted my signed copy of your book Duck, Duck, Goose, and decided to hang it for a day or two in my cellar beneath the front porch (perfect 46 degrees F. and +50 percent relative humidity). I used your wax method to pluck him and then took him apart using the excellent photographs and instruction. I slow roasted the legs and wings, and seared the breasts to medium rare in duck fat I rendered from the tail, neck skin, and wing tips. It was unbelievably good. Very crisp skin with rare meat. I pan fried the heart, liver, and gizzard. The feet are in the freezer much to my wife’s chagrin, and a few of the nicer under-wing feathers are on the bench for flys I will tie for spring trout fishing. Next time I will roast the legs and wings longer. They were still tough, but had good flavor. I went out again Saturday morning to hunt ducks along a local river, but saw nothing, so I turned the shotgun to the trees and brought home two nice grey squirrels instead. Happy New Year!

  13. Will

    Hank: I guess it is more rare than I thought. I did report it. It was banded on August 15, 2014, but records indicate it was hatched in 2013 or earlier. It was banded in BAIE LAVALLIERE, YAMASKA, QUEBEC, CANADA. I shot it in central Maryland about 25 miles south of Gettysburg, PA. From what I can tell looking at online maps it traveled more than 600 miles south from where it was banded. No wonder the wings were tough! I bought your book during your tour when you came through Washington, DC. I enjoyed meeting you. It was a hectic evening. I sure you recall. If you make it out to Maryland, you have a place to stay if you need one. Best- Will

  14. Will

    Hank: I guess it is more rare than I thought. I did report it. It was banded on August 15, 2014, but records stated it was hatched in 2013 or earlier. It was banded in BAIE LAVALLIERE, YAMASKA, QUEBEC, CANADA. I shot it in central Maryland about 25 miles south of Gettysburg, PA. From what I can tell looking at online maps it traveled more than 600 miles south from where it was banded. No wonder the wings were tough. I bought your book during the book tour when you came through Washington, DC. I enjoyed meeting you. It was a hectic evening, as I am sure you recall… If you find yourself in Maryland, you’ve got a place to stay if you need one. Best- Will

  15. Laura & Troy

    I cooked duck breast for my husband tonight for the first time ever. We used this method and it turned out perfect! That is quite a feat for me as I’m prone to overcooking and burning meat. We both devoured our share, and this is the first time I’ve seen my husband eat home cooked meat without dipping it in a sauce of some sort. Thank you!

  16. Justin

    Hank, You rule! A continual inspiration! Keep up the good work!
    Justin

  17. Jack Jones

    Im an old duck, I used to shoot a lot Ducks, Pheasants, Quail, Doves down in the San Joaquin Valley many years ago, now live in the Pacific Northwest and have been given two Canadians and a couple of Mallards by a guy that shoots on the farm where I live. I’ll be cooking a half breast tonight,(my wife doesn’t eat duck anymore… she used to) for the first time in maybe 40 years.
    One suggestion. After plucking the breast, take out the wishbone. It’s a little chore that makes it much cleaner and easier to get a nicer piece of meat.
    The eclectic sceptic,
    Jack

  18. Robin Follette

    I’m cooking a domestic duck breast for supper tonight and needed a brush up on method. Thanks for the instructions. I’ll be using Maple Blueberry Balsamic dressing.

  19. Steve

    I don’t know where i can get fresh duck breasts for this weekend’s saturday night dinner… I can get frozen breasts… what recommendations can you provide?

  20. Blair

    Made this last night (my first time buying and cooking duck) with a D’Artagnan duck breast and it was absolutely delightful. The cooking times in the recipe perfectly yielded a med-rare to medium final product. I can’t think of a recipe that yields more wow factor for less work. Thanks!

  21. Jerry

    I have a few Canada goose breast in the freezer from last season. I left the skin on them. I tried cooking one on the grill the same way I grill duck breast, but it came out super tough. I’m not sure what went wrong. They were cooked to medium too. I cooked them slow and low (about 250 degrees for about 20-30 minutes). Any suggestions? I love the taste of them on the grill. Thanks!

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