Duck is one of my favorite foods. I remember being a kid at the Chinese restaurant in town and always asking my parents to order me the Peking Duck even though it was supposed to be for two people. I always begged someone else in my family to eat it with me. I loved the pancakes and sauce that came with it, but I especially loved the duck. Over the years my love for duck has continued. And as it turns out, Isaac loves duck just as much as I do.

Accordingly, this is one of our favorite dinners. We save this dish for special occasions, or simply for those nights when we have had a long day, either at work, or with the kids, and we just want to open a bottle of wine and relax with some good food after everyone is in bed (even if that might be after 9 PM). This is also one of the easiest dinners we make, but it feels like a special occasion whenever we eat it.

Place the duck breast skin side up on a cutting board. Trim off the excess fat around the breast (save this to render after you make the duck- yum). Score the duck skin, being careful not to cut through the actual duck meat.

scoredduck
Place the duck breast skin side down in a cold cast iron skillet.  Turn on the heat to medium and sit back.

rawduck

The duck fat will slowly start to render and cook the duck.  After about 3-4 minutes gently slide the duck aside and try to pour off some of the accumulated fat into a glass container.

cookingduck

Once the duck has been sizzling for about 10 minutes, flip the duck over and cook for another two minutes.

castironduck

I usually turn the duck over one last time to give the skin one more sear, and then remove the duck from the skillet.  Since you can eat duck rare (unlike chicken) this is the way we prepare it.  If you prefer your meat medium cook it slightly longer when you flip it.

Place the duck on a cutting board, and let it rest for at least 7 minutes.

slicedduck
After the duck has rested, slice it and serve over salad or roasted vegetables and drizzle it with a pomegranate reduction and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

To make the pomegranate reduction, boil 1 cup of POM 100% Pomegranate juice until it is reduced by half. Get it going right before you start cooking the duck and it should be ready just in time.

That’s it!



Pan Seared Duck Breast with Pomegranate Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 boneless skin-on duck breasts
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • salt & pepper (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place the duck breast skin side up on a cutting board. Trim off the excess fat around the breast.
  2. Score the duck skin, being careful not to cut through the actual duck meat. Sprinkle lightly with salt and/or pepper if desired.
  3. Put the pomegranate juice in a small saucepan and turn the heat to medium high. Bring to a boil and let it reduce while the duck is cooking.
  4. Place the duck breast skin side down in a cold cast iron skillet.
  5. Turn on the heat to medium and sit back. The duck fat will slowly start to render and cook the duck.
  6. After about 3-4 minutes gently slide the duck aside and try to pour off some of the accumulated fat into a glass container.
  7. Once the duck has been sizzling for about 10 minutes, flip the duck over and cook for another two minutes. I usually turn the duck over one last time to give the skin one more sear, and then remove the duck from the skillet.
  8. Remove the duck from the skillet to a cutting board, and let it rest for at least 7 minutes.
  9. Slice it and serve over salad or roasted vegetables with pomegranate seeds and drizzle it all with the reduced pomegranate juice.
Notes
Duck fat makes everything more delicious. While you wait for the cooked duck to rest, sauté some sliced shiitake mushrooms or baby kale in the pan with the leftover duck fat for a tasty, easy veggie side dish.