I got a deboned duck breast. (From the supermarket, I didn’t go wring a duck’s neck and hack it off.) I will be cooking it Wednesday night. The husband will be off out and besides is vegetarian so he doesn’t get any. I’ve never cooked duck before, and my meat cooking skills in general are a bit rusty due to the whole living with a vegetarian thing. I’m good with roast lamb, pork chops, and rare steaks, but my efforts to roast a chicken have had laughably poor results. Anyone got any sage advice?

Well, I suppose sage is good. Pepper Mill has made duck a few times, and one fact that sticks out is that duck is Waaaaaaayyyyyyy more fatty than chicken. Take this into account when you cook iit. (I’ve wondered if this is one attraction of turduckenm – that the Duck adds fat to the Turkey and the chicken, keeping it moist).

Good luck with your duck, I share your duck-deficiency woes. It is one of the tastiest meats on the planet, unfortunately I had to stop eating it after I got married because my wife had a duck as a beloved childhood pet.

I just saw Alton Brown deal with a duck in a way that appeared to take care of some of the fat. IIRC, he brined it, then steamed it and then roasted it in a hot skillet in the oven.
Try foodtv.
That’s for a whole duck, but maybe it’ll give you some help.

Several sources caution not to throw away the leftover fat. Duck fat, they say, will take take the sautéing of vegetables into the realm of magic.

Score the fat side of the breast in a diamond pattern. Season the breast and put it fat side down in a cold pan. Heat the pan on medium until the fat starts rendering out and use a spoon to continually baste the top of the breast with hot fat. Cook until the breast is medium rare and then let it rest skin side up. Use a sharp knife to slice it thin and serve with some kind of sauce.

Wow! OK, I feel much more confident about my duck now, thanks for all the advice and commentary. I will definitely be saving any fat that renders. If I ever end up with a whole duck on my hands I will investigate AB’s method as we have been using his brining recipe on turkey successfully for the last couple of thanksgivings.

Shalmanese, that sounds pretty straightforward for dealing with the breast. Now I can barely wait until Wednesday to try this out.

The duck has come and gone. I was going to save some for leftovers but it was seriously not to be. I think I had the heat a bit low, and ended up overcooking the skin side a little, but overall I’m pleased for a first attempt. I will know things next time!

The house is filled with the smell of duck fat. It’s really sweet and fragrant. I may have to burn incense or something before the vegetarian comes home.

I served the duck with a pan sauce using shallots, some strained Kentish rumpy (marmalade with cherries and cider) and a bit of Californian pinot noir. It was very tasty.

There is now duck fat residing in the fridge for my next breakfast potato fry.