Published February 12, 2007.
Grilling duck breasts presents a real culinary challenge: How do you render the fat from the skin without overcooking the delicate meat?
Duck breasts are tricky to prepare. They have a very fatty, thick skin, and their lean meat is best cooked to medium rare, but by the time the fat is rendered from the skin and crisped, the meat can be overcooked.
We love grilled duck breasts—they're rich and flavorful and take just minutes to cook. We wanted to develop a grilling technique that produced breasts that were crisp-skinned but still juicy.
We started with 12-ounce breasts, which easily serve two. After numerous flare-ups, we found we needed to remove excess fat and score the skin with a sharp knife to render the maximum amount of fat. We achieved an optimal crisp skin/juicy meat balance only after we discovered that we needed to cook the duck breast longer on the skin side, just turning the breast to finish cooking. Resting the meat was also an important step. Finally, while the juicy breast tasted great with nothing but salt and pepper, we found a strong-flavored rub and chutney also suited the duck well.list of recipes