We often sear cuts of meat in a smoking-hot pan to quickly develop flavorful caramelized crusts. Duck breast, with its hefty layer of fat and lean red meat, requires a different approach. For a perfect magret, we score the breast to encourage rendering, then place it skin side down in a cold skillet before turning on the burner. The slow heat gives the fat time to render, yielding crisp, golden skin and medium-rare meat.
Pat the duck breast dry with paper towels. Carve a Crosshatch pattern in the skin 1/6″ deep without piercing the meat.
Put the scored duck breast skin side down in a cold, dry skillet. Do not add cooking oil. Place the pan over medium-high heat.
3.Cook duck until skin is crisp and lifts easily from the pan, 5–6 minutes. Flip and cook another 3 minutes for medium rare.
- Remove the duck from the pan and let it rest uncovered for 5 minutes. Thinly slice the meat at a slight angle against the grain.