I am always on the hunt for perfectly seared duck breast. This seared duck with cipollini onions uses a technique that will yield the perfect duck every time.
I absolutely love seared duck breast. Over the years, I’ve been working on a technique to ensure well-rendered fat with perfectly medium-rare meat.
How to Render Fat from Seared Duck:
Instead of scoring the skin in a cross-hatch pattern, I score it like a hasselback potato. I slice in 1/8” increments on an angle across the skin. I find that this renders out all the fat much more quickly. This is because the skin has so many more places for the fat to render from. I also find that the final product just looks so beautiful.
This technique will give you perfectly cooked duck skin every. single. time.
Once my skin is well-browned, I simply flip and turn up the heat up a bit. Google will tell you to cook to an internal temperature of 135º. I find that taking it out of the skillet at 135º leads to overcooked duck. This is because it will continue to cook off the heat. I cook it to about 125ºF, transfer to a plate. I cover with foil to allow it to continue cooking to medium-rare. However, you may cook it to 135º and all the way up to 165º, if you prefer your duck well-done.
What kind of skillet should be used to sear duck breast?
The best skillet to use is a nice, heavy-bottomed pan. I prefer a cast-iron skillet, like this one from Lodge.
But you can also cook duck breasts in a beautiful carbon steel skillet, like one from Mauviel and you will still end up with beautiful, perfectly seared duck breasts.
If you made this seared duck with cipollini onions recipe, please rate it and comment below! You can also follow me and share your creations by tagging me! I’d love to feature your #triedandtruerecipes creation on my feed!
Perfectly Seared Duck Breast with Cipollini Onions
- Medium pot
- Wide skillet
Seared Duck Breast:
- 1 Magret duck breast
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 10 ounces cipollini onions
- 12 ounces cremini mushrooms trimmed and thinly sliced
- 10 ounces French cut green beans fresh or frozen (thawed, if frozen)
- 4 garlic cloves peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon butter optional
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme
- 1 teaspoon dry parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
Sweet Potato Mash:
- 2 sweet potatoes (or 1 sweet potato and 4 small Yukon gold potatoes) peeled and cubed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup whole milk plus more, if needed
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the Cipollini Onions and Potatoes:
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the cipollini onions (skins on) and boil for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a bowl and allow to cool for a few minutes and keep the water in the pot boiling.
- Add the peeled and cubed potatoes to the pot of boiling water for 15-20 minutes until fork-tender.
- Once the onions are cool enough to handle, carefully peel of 1 layer of the onion by cutting a small sliver off the bottom of the onion and pulling the top layer from the onion. Set the peeled onions aside.
Prepare the Sweet Potato Mash:
- Turn the heat off and pour the potatoes into a colander to drain and return the pot to stove. Return the potatoes to the pot and allow them to dry off using the residual heat from the stove.
- Add the butter, milk, sour cream, garlic powder, and paprika to the potatoes.
- Using a hand mixer, blend until creamy and smooth, adding more milk if necessary. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and more garlic powder or paprika if desired. Set aside and keep warm.
Cook the Duck:
- Pat the duck dry breast dry. Using a sharp paring knife, score the skin at an angle in 1/8'' increments until the skin has been completely scored from edge to edge.
- Place a skillet on the stove and put the duck, skin-side down, in the skillet. Turn the heat to low and cook for 7 minutes or until the fat begins to render out. Turn the heat to medium and continue cooking until the skin is very golden brown and crispy, an additional 6-8 minutes more. Adjust the heat as necessary to keep the skin from burning.
- Flip the duck and turn the heat to medium. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until desired internal temperature is met. For medium-rare, cook the duck to about 120ºF at the thickest part of the breast. Note: Do not take the temperature of the duck through the skin. Pierce the flesh in order to get an accurate temperature read.
- Transfer the duck to a plate and cover tightly with foil. Set aside.
Fry the Vegetables:
- Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of duck fat. If desired, melt the butter into the fat over medium-high heat.
- Once melted and frothy, add the cipollini onions and the mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until the mushrooms are well-browned and the cipollini onions turn golden brown on the tops and bottoms. Season with salt, pepper, thyme, and parsley.
- Add the green beans and garlic and toss to combine. Cook for 3-4 minutes more or until the green beans are tender crisp and bright green. Turn off the heat.
- Spoon the mash onto a plate and use the back of your spoon to spread it out around half the plate. Pile the mushrooms, onions, and green beans on top. Thinly slice the duck and fan out the duck slices on top of each plate. Enjoy!