Culinary Arts

Pan Roasting: Duck Breast

Thomas Keller

Lesson time 20:56 min

Chef Keller teaches you his pan-roasting technique for Pekin duck breast, including how to render the fat for a crispy skin and how to achieve the perfect medium-rare finish. Then learn how to make a honey-orange gastrique sauce for a sweet and sour finish.

Thomas Keller
Teaches Cooking Techniques II: Meats, Stocks, and Sauces
Chef Thomas Keller returns with a second MasterClass to teach the essential techniques for cooking meats and making stocks and sauces.
Get All-Access

Improve your skills in the kitchen

As a follow-up to his first MasterClass, Chef Thomas Keller devotes his second cooking class to beef, duck, chicken, pork, and veal, and the techniques he uses to prepare them. Learn to sauté, pan and oven roast, braise, fry, and grill, and how to select the best cut of meat for each technique with confidence. Then, learn to make the stocks and sauces that are essentials in Chef Keller’s restaurant kitchens.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Very good tips on preparing food / sauces / stocks at home vs restaurant. Enjoyed making the recipes for family and friends. The sauce lessons would be better as the first two lessons vs the last 2 or 3...

I'm still new to making sauces and his teaching style is so thorough and effortless. Love Thomas Keller!! Bring him back!

I love the way Thomas Keller teaches in a practical, well-explained manner. He inspires me to cook!

What a perfect experience it was to learn from this master. Even on the basics, he had something to teach and inspire. Thank you so much, Chef.



Turned out quite well for a first try! Very delicious combination of flavors, and finished plate looks very impressive without being overly complicated. As others mentioned, the sauce was a bit sweet for some. Perhaps more stock/lemon next time? Also, I just didn't have time to leave the duck drying for 3 days, and instead only about 3 hours. Skin was still incredibly crispy! Thanks, Chef!

A fellow student

Wow! I studied this lesson over several viewings and readings (and re-readings) of the notes. I followed his process exactly for both the breasts and the endive (I chose to not use the sauce) and the results were incredible. My wife absolutely loved it, as did I! I noted some things that were commented upon by Chef Keller. I barely trimmed the skin around the breast but even so the breast plumped up a bit upon cooking. No matter, being aware in advance that this was a possibility I was able to handle the cooking anyway. Thank-you, Chef. It is really fun to have the technique knowledge to handle preparations like this duck breast,


I pay extra attention to how he plates. It's not just for looks - there is an important taste element I think. Simple and elegant. Notice he only puts the sauce around the edges of the vegetable side. This would keep the duck crispy, but there is plenty to dip into. Also, the texture of he sauce is beautiful. It spoons out and flows, but doesn't pour and spread out too much. Simple, simple. One beautiful vegetable. Sort of like your grandmother telling you to take off all your jewelry and wear just one good piece at a time.

Sally T.

Can't believe I waiting this long in life to have duck. Truly delicious dish. Our store sells conveniently sized 8 oz. frozen duck breasts and one served my husband and me perfectly (well priced at $8 too). Veal bones are hard to come by and very pricey so have never made veal stock but I did have some frozen commercially made veal demi-glace in the freezer so I thinned that down. Otherwise, made exactly as shown on video and I think it came out restaurant quality. Served with Chef Puck's roasted carrots, sautéed zucchini and fresh corn niblets and Chef Kellers favorite potato puree. The duck went a few degrees over the desired temperature but still very flavorful, tender and juicy.

Jorge S.

Great lesson. When and how do you season (salt) the duck breast? Before you put it in the fridge? Or before it goes to the pan?

Ben M.

Made it tonight and it was delicious. Definitely need your own veal stock...I was out and used store bought and it lacked the gelatin and showed when it was reduced. Delicious though.


Is that just me or the sauce was a bit too sweet? The duck turned out great!


Great advice about the duck tasting a bit "livery" when cooked medium or well done. I made that mistake last Christmas and was not sure how to solve it. Thanks!


You make it look so easy...will go shopping soon for duck. Yes save that duck fat.

David H.

Here is my take on the pan seared duck breast. I took advice of air drying the breast, made a gastrique from blood oranges, took the idea of confit garlic from the first class to add that to the dauphinoise , did a charred confit of leek too (all using the rendered chicken fat from the light chicken stock) used the jerusalem artichoke puree for added sweetness and added a wholly unnecessary bit of garnish.