“Oh this? It’s no big deal. It’s just pan seared duck breast with crispy skin. I just whipped it up.” Even when you downplay it for your guests, they’ll still never guess how easy it is. Just three ingredients and about 15 minutes and it’s perfect every time. Just make sure to start with a cold pan, and no additional oils or fats and you’ll get that beautifully crispy skin every time. Need a way to serve it? Try a simple salad or risotto on the side and top the duck with a drizzle of balsamic glaze or some fig jam.

Things You’ll Need

Duck breasts, skin-on (1 per person)

Step 1: Score the Fat
Pat the duck breasts dry. Score lines in the fat (not the meat) with a sharp knife about an inch apart in each direction to make a diamond crosshatch pattern.

Step 2: Season
Liberally salt and pepper the duck on all sides.

Step 3: Add to a Cold Pan
Add the duck, skin side down, to a cast iron skillet off heat. Add to medium heat and cook until the skin is crispy and most of the fat has rendered.

Step 4: Flip the Duck
Flip the duck and cook on the other side until the duck is cooked through but still has a hint of pink in the center. Although the FDA recommends cooking until 170 degrees Fahrenheit, most chefs only cook to 135 degrees Fahrenheit for best results.

Step 5: Rest
Remove the duck from the pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice, plate, and serve