In a fat-conscious world, many people shy away from duck because of the thick layer covering the breast. Give it a break, the poor duck needs to protect itself from the chilly waters it calls home.
When grilled on the barbecue or in a pan, the fat keeps the meat good and moist, but a lot melts away. OK, OK, I'm trying to sell it to you, but anything in moderation is permissible!
Remove breast from the refrigerator 10 minutes before cooking.
Score the skin in a checkerboard pattern every two centimetres, without cutting into the meat.
In the pan
Place breast, skin side down in a pre-heated pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, pour off the excess rendered fat from the pan and sear for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium, turn breast once and cook 6-7 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 150 F (65 C). Duck meat is at its best when served pink.
Remove from the pan, cover in aluminum foil and let stand five minutes before slicing and/or serving.
On the barbecue
Preheat the barbecue by turning on only one burner at maximum heat.
Grill the boneless duck breast on direct heat (open burner side), skin side down, for 2 minutes, turning once.
Continue cooking on indirect heat, with the barbecue cover closed, skin side down, for 8-9 minutes.
Finish cooking on direct heat with open cover, meat side down, for approximately 2 minutes.
Remove from the grill cover with aluminum foil and let three to four minutes before slicing. This allows the meat fibres to relax, making for a juicier and tender breast.
Pairs well with a Pinot Noir.