gordon ramsay's crispy skin duck breast

Gordon Ramsay’s Guide to the Ultimate Crispy Skin Duck Breast

Creating a crispy skin duck breast that delights the palate starts with quality skin-on duck breasts. Begin by delicately scoring the duck skin, which prevents buckling and promotes even cooking. Scoring duck skin is essential in the duck breast preparation process, ensuring a beautifully rendered skin that perfectly crisps.

Duck makes an excellent meal for any special occasion or holiday, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, or New Year. Duck pairs very well with fruity sauces, and the strawberries with red wine make for a delightful combination, perfect for autumn. Make this Gordon Ramsay’s Crispy Skin Duck Breast if you want something different this year. We’ll review tips and techniques on how to cook duck breast at home.

Pork at its peak: Delight in the juiciness of Gordon Ramsay’s Bone-In Pork Chop: Juicy, Flavorful, Unforgettable.

Crispy Skin Duck Breast Recipe

Crispy Skin Duck Breast Recipe

Perfecting a seared duck breast requires meticulous heat control. Initiate the searing process on a medium-low setting, allowing the natural fats from the duck breast to render slowly, hence making duck crispy. Through this method, the duck breast skin gains the desirable golden crispy duck exterior with a succulent, tender interior.

5.0 from 3 votes


Prep time


Cooking time


Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on


  • 4 ea. Duck Breast (6-8 oz.) scored

  • For Sauce
  • 6 oz. dry red wine

  • 2 garlic cloves, skin on and lightly crushed

  • A few thyme sprigs

  • 6 oz. duck or chicken stock

  • 3 Tbsp. blackcurrant jam or conserve

  • 2 Tbsp. butter, cut into cubes

  • For cream leeks
  • 2 ea. Baby Leeks, charred on the grill Garish

  • 2 ea. Baby Leeks, green top removed

  • 2 ea. Garlic Clove

  • 1 Tbsp. Butter

  • Kosher Salt, to taste

  • 16 oz. Heavy Cream

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Confit Potatoes
  • 1 lb. fingerling potatoes

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 shallot, crouse chop

  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme

  • Olive oil or duck fat to cover

  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Score the skin of the duck breasts in a crisscross pattern, then rub with salt and pepper. Place them skin-side down in a dry hob-proof roasting tray and cook over low heat to render most of the fat. This may take 10–15 minutes.
  • Place the tray in the hot oven for 8–10 minutes until the duck is slightly springy when pressed. Turn the heat under the duck breasts and fry for about 5 minutes until the skin is crisp. Turn them over and fry on the other side for 1–2 minutes until cooked.
  • Meanwhile, make the sauce. Place the red wine in a pan with the garlic and thyme and boil for 7–8 minutes until reduced by half. Pour in the stock and reduce again by half. Taste and adjust the seasoning, strain through a fine sieve and discard the solids. Stir the blackcurrant jam into the sauce and add a few knobs of butter to give it a shine.
  • Confit Potatoes
  • Place the potatoes, garlic, shallot, and thyme in a medium saucepan. Cover the potatoes with olive oil (or duck fat if used) and slowly simmer over medium heat. Cook the potatoes until just tender, 30–35 minutes. Allow the potatoes to cool in the oil, then drain and place in a bowl. Slice each in half, lengthwise.
  • Cream Leeks
  • In a large pan, sauté leeks in butter and salt with a lid on. Once soft, add cream to cover. Simmer until thick inconsistency. Season to taste.

Recipe Video

How do you get crispy skin on duck breasts?

You should start scoring the skin without cutting into the meat to get crispy skin on a duck breast. This allows the fat to render more effectively. Then, place the breast skin-side down in a cold, non-stick pan without oil, as the duck has plenty of its fat. Gradually increase the heat to medium and let the fat flow slowly for 15-20 minutes. The slow rendering will help the skin get crispy.

What is the secret to crispy duck skin?

The secret to crispy duck skin is in the rendering of the fat. Scoring the skin, starting in a cold pan, and slowly increasing the heat allows the fat to render without overcooking the skin, leading to a beautifully crisp texture. Patting the skin dry before cooking and using minimal additional fat helps achieve crispiness. After cooking, letting the duck rest before cutting can help maintain the skin’s crisp texture.

What’s the best way to cook a duck breast?

The best way to cook a duck breast is to sear it skin-side down to render the fat and crisp the skin, then flip it to finish cooking the meat. Here are the general steps:

  1. Score the duck breast skin in a diamond pattern.
  2. Season the breast with salt and possibly other spices.
  3. Start skin-side down in a cold pan, then heat to medium.
  4. Cook slowly to render the fat for 15-20 minutes until the skin is crispy.
  5. Flip the breast and cook to your desired doneness, usually about 5-10 minutes.
  6. Let the duck breast rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Why is the skin on my duck, not crispy?

There are a few reasons why duck skin may not turn out crispy:

  • The skin wasn’t scored properly, which can prevent fat from rendering effectively.
  • The pan started too hot, which can cook the skin too quickly without rendering the fat.
  • The duck skin was not dried sufficiently before cooking.
  • Too much additional fat was added to the pan, which can inhibit the rendering of the duck’s natural fats.
  • The duck breast was not cooked skin-side down long enough to allow the fat to render out, leaving the skin soft or rubbery.

Summing Up

Gordon Ramsay-style crispy skin duck breast can transform your culinary repertoire, elevating your dining experience. The harmony of perfectly golden and crunchy duck skin paired with tender, flavorful meat complements the rich, fruit-infused sauce, making each bite an exquisite celebration of textures and tastes.

Remember to source quality ingredients, take time with the preparation steps, and, most importantly, enjoy crafting this dish. Following this guide meticulously will ensure that your crispy skin duck breast is not just a meal but a memorable gourmet event. So, don your apron, take up the culinary challenge, and prepare to dazzle your guests with a dish that encapsulates the flair and finesse of Hell’s Kitchen right at your dining table.

Last Updated on January 22, 2024 by John Siracusa


  • John Siracusa

    Hi, I'm John. I've worked in the Food Service industry for over 25 years, working in my family's business. Cooking for me has always been an art infused with traditions. My career was inspired by Hell's Kitchen, the West Side of Manhattan, which has one of New York City's best independent restaurant communities. I also admire Gordon Ramsay's no-nonsense approach to always being your best.

5.0 from 3 votes

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

one × 5 =

Scroll to Top