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Grilled duck breast with honey and rosemary

Grilled duck breast with honey and rosemary

A classic in French cuisine, so simple to make … you can’t miss it! Use French and high-quality duck breasts.

Grilled duck breast with honey and thyme

4 May 2021
: Servings 6
: 5 min
: 20 min
: 30 min
: Easy

Adjust the cooking time according to the size of your duck breasts and to your taste. When cooked, wrap them up in aluminium foil for 5 minutes.


  • 3 duck breasts
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Step 1 Bring the duck breasts out of the fridge at least half an hour before cooking. Remove from the package too, the meat should be at room temperature. With a sharp knife, crisscross the surface of the duck skin, the thick skin will be marked with diamonds. Be careful not to cut the flesh. Place the duck breasts in a hot frying pan, skin down. Fry on medium high heat, removing the extra fat regularly. This should take about 6 to 8 minutes depending on the size of the breasts. You might even follow this step a few hours early. When done, the skin should be golden and crispy.
  • Step 2 Pre-heat your oven to 210° (th 7) for 10 minutes. Add ground pepper on the duck breasts and place them skin down in a pan with a rosemary sprig. Coat honey on the duck meat if you wish. Just do as you would when you cook beef: rare, medium rare, done, or well done as you like. Personally, I like the duck breasts grilled and golden on the outside and pinkish inside. For a medium rare meat, add 3 minutes in the oven or 5 if you like it well done. Bring the duck breasts out of the oven and remove from the pan, discard the fat, and wrap them up in aluminium foil. Don’t forget to add salt. Leave them in the oven for another 5 minutes, the oven door wide open. When time is up, collect the meat juice in the foil and pour on the duck breasts right before serving.
  • Step 3 Place them on a cutting board. Cut the breasts in 2, and quickly serve them on the plates along with their side dishes and a little bit of rosemary. If you only have a small number of guests, you will have time to cut a few medium-size slices to place on each plate, that looks nicer than bare halves. As this does take a little time, you want to avoid eating your grilled duck breasts just warm. It is divine when served with the prune sauce and mashed pumpkin. In the Southwest of France, they traditionally serve duck breast with homemade apple sauce and steamed or boiled green beans. And for a more festive occasion, add sauté porcini mushrooms, chestnuts, or chanterelle.

Good to know!

BBQ version is always a winner especially when you have invited a small crowd! Just grill the duck breasts the same way, taking extra care not to let flames burn the meat, and reduce the grill time when the meat is cooking skin up. Place fresh rosemary sprigs on the meat. Once done, add salt and ground pepper, wrap the duck breasts up in aluminium foil with a sprig of rosemary. Leave them 5 more minutes close to the hot coal or heat source, that should allow enough time for the aromatic juice to disseminate through the meat, and slice then serve.

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