Figs and Seared Duck Breasts

  • 35 mins total
  • 5 mins prep
  • 30 mins cook
  • serves 3 people

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First of all, let me remove all fear:

Very easy to prepare. It just requires a couple more steps and a little more attention. And when I say attention is nothing more than using a sharp knife, scoring the skin with shallow slits in a crisis cross pattern into the duck breast skin and fat, ensuring not to pierce the beautiful meaty flesh underneath it. Here is a short video that I put together for you:

That is all the difficulty that is required for any duck recipe. The best part is cooking it all in one skillet.

Therefore, quick and easy to make, it only takes 30 minutes. Simple, delicious, and absolutely delicious.

The most common breeds that are served in restaurants are the Mallard and Muscovy. The white Peking is most used since it has the most tender, and mild flavor. Not as gamey.


  • The duck has one very meaty side and one side rich in fat. The duck fat is actually recommended that you save once you extract it from searing it. You can use it for a later time for French fries, or to add extra flavor to any meats or vegetables. Stores well in the refrigerator.
  • Starting by having your breasts at room temperature. With a paper towel pat, the duck dry and remove any small feather tips that may be left on the skin.
  • Season the duck and place it on a roasting pan or cast-iron skillet.
  • To allow all the fat to be extracted while achieving crispy skin, place duck breasts skin side down in a cold pan.
  • I enjoy grating the garlic. The essence of the garlic is better distributed with the seasoning thus enjoying it better.
  • If you have French gray sea salt, use it. It blends better with the garlic. Optional of course.
  • Turn the heat to medium, start cooking until the skin is golden brown and easily separate itself from the pan. Cook duck for around 15 minutes.
  • For this duck breast recipe, flip the breasts and finish them in the oven.
  • Use figs that are just perfect. Over ripen will fall apart while cooking.
  • Slice and serve around three to four pieces of the breast for each person.
  • Duck legs are less meaty, however can be enjoyed the same way.

If time permits you can marinate the breasts up to 24 hours in advance in the refrigerator. Let them return to room temperature before cooking.

The figs make a perfect complement to this dish and this is a wonderful dinner party recipe. I sprinkled some of the cooking fat over the figs. The combination of the two is out of this world.

The final lemon squeeze and olive oil bring the whole dish together with a perfect balance.

As a side dish,

Garlic potatoes are always my favorite for a hearty dinner. Or you can go with a light green salad and some French bread.

Green Acorn Squash with Honey Vinaigrette, tender and so delicious.

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake is your perfect dessert to go alongside at any time of the year, and even more during the holiday season.

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Equipment and Ingredients used to prepare this recipe

Nutrition Facts
Figs and Seared Duck Breasts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 218 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 87mg29%
Sodium 648mg28%
Potassium 549mg16%
Carbohydrates 20g7%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 16g18%
Protein 23g46%
Vitamin A 225IU5%
Vitamin C 10mg12%
Calcium 50mg5%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Figs and Seared Duck Breasts

  • 35 mins total
  • 5 mins prep
  • 30 mins cook
  • serves 3 people


Original recipe yields 3 servings

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  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary leaves finely chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black ground pepper
  • 2 12-ounces each duck breasts, patted dry and scored crosshatch pattern into the skin, do not pierce the flesh underneath.
  • 6 fresh figs, halved
  • Juice of ½ lemon and lemon wedges for serving
  • olive oil to drizzle over it


  1. In a small bowl combine the lemon zest, garlic, and 1 tablespoon rosemary with sea salt and pepper. Mix well and rub the mixture all over both breasts.

  2. Place the duck skin-side down in a large, non-heated, ovenproof skillet. Place the skillet over medium heat and cook until the fat of the duck is rendered, and the skin is golden for 10 to 12 minutes. Pour out most of the fat from the skillet, save for later use.

  3. Flip the duck pieces over, remove the skillet from the heat, and scatter the figs and remaining 1 teaspoon rosemary all over the figs in the skillet but not on top of the duck.

  4. Place the skillet in the oven to roast for 5 minutes for medium.

  5. Remove the skillet from the oven and turn on the broiler. Transfer the duck breasts to a cutting board, cover them with aluminum foil and let them rest for about 5 minutes.

  6. Return the skillet still containing the figs and place it under the broiler for about 1 to 2 minutes until the figs are lightly charred. Keep a keen eye on the figs as not to burn.

  7. Slice the duck and serve with the figs on the side. Squeeze lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil all over the duck and the figs.



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Comments (42) Post a Reply

  1. Kayla DiMaggio says:

    Love this dinner! We don’t often eat duck as we save it for special occasions but we had a date night in and made this together. It was so delicious!

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      I am the same way, duck is a special occasion meal too at our house, and we have so much to celebrate of late that this dish was in order.

  2. Shilpa says:

    Love this.. thanks for sharing

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      My pleasure!

  3. Gina Abernathy says:

    Thanks for the recipe. My son is a duck hunter so I will certainly share this recipe with him. Looks and sounds amazing. He will have to invite me to dinner when he prepares this dish. 🙂

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      The pleasure is all mine, I am sure both of you will enjoy this super easy one-pan recipe.

  4. Dominic Dela Cruz says:

    Great Recipe! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      The pleasure is all mine, Thank you for stopping by my little corner of the web.

  5. Linda says:

    What a beautiful, yet simple, dish! I’m saving this for at-home date night…we usually only order duck when we go out, but I think I can handle this! And figs?! ❤️

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      Linda, You will love the simplicity of this dish and it will be perfect for date night.

  6. Jodi Reed says:

    This looks delicious and flavorful. I’m going to look for duck at the grocery store so I can try this. Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      It is my pleasure Jodi. If you cannot found it ask your butcher to order it for you.
      You will love it this quick and easy recipe.
      Bon Apetit!

  7. Luca says:

    Such a delicious dinner for real special occasions! Figs give a boost of flavor to the dish!

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      The holidays are just around the corner, and I am sure the perfect occasion will arise for you to enjoy this super delicious and quick meal.

  8. Jean says:

    I have friends at work who likes duck recipes a lot and will have to share this recipe with them.
    Also I can surprise them with this recipe and bring to work.

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      Hi Jean! They will love it. That is so sweet of you to make it for them, you are a great friend.

  9. Addie says:

    This duck is incredibly tender and flavorful!

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      Thank you!

  10. Mihaela | says:

    Wow, what a combination! I never cooked figs before nor thought to pair them with duck. It sounds perfect with a garlic potato side dish!

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      Absolutely! Love the garlic potato combination to go alongside. Cooking figs brings out their natural sweetness. Quite delicious.

  11. Sarah says:

    I have never cooked duck but you make it sound so easy! Thanks for all the great tips 🙂

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      I was scared as well the first time I ever cooked duck and when I found out how easy it was I never stopped making it.

  12. Sarah says:

    This looks amazing!! This is on my must try list of things to cook. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      You are welcome Sarah! I am sure you will enjoy this recipe.
      Bon Appetit!

  13. Emily Flint says:

    This looks absolutely amazing and your tips and instructions are giving me the courage to make this for my next party. Thanks for sharing and for making it sound so easy. 🙂

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      I am so happy my tips were helpful to you. You will enjoy this very delicious recipe.
      Thank you for stopping by my little corner of the web

  14. Michael DiMaggio says:

    This duck breast was amazing! So full of flavor and delicious!

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      Thank you so much. I am happy you enjoyed it.

  15. Cindy Mom the Lunch Lady says:

    What a beautifully simple way to prepare duck breast. Delicious!

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      Thank you! I try to make life easier in the kitchen as much as possible

  16. Elizabeth Swoish says:

    This was so flavorful and delicious. The tips were very helpful!
    Thank you for a great dinner recipe. 🙂

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      The pleasure is all mine. I am happy you enjoyed it and the tips were helpful.
      Thank you for stopping by Giangi’s Kitchen

  17. Jax says:

    This duck breast was amazing! I loved all the flavors and how juicy it was!

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      Thank you so much! I am happy you enjoyed it!

  18. Anaiah says:

    This is a phenomenal dinner!! I absolutely loved the figs in this dish. It gave it an amazing flavor. Will definitely be making this again soon!

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      Thank you, Anaiah! So happy you enjoyed it and love it.
      One of my favorite

  19. Bobbie says:

    I’ve always been hesitant to make duck but this recipe made it easy to follow and delicious! Love the figs with the flavor combination.

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      The duck and figs combination is out of this world. Sweet and gamey all in one bite.
      Thank you for making it.

  20. Michelle | Taste As You Go says:

    One of the things I love about early fall is the abundance of fresh figs, and they’re fantastic when paired with the duck!

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      I love figs and so look forward to the season, even though a bit short, but taking full advantage of it.

  21. Addie says:

    This duck is so tender and flavorful!

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      Thank you!

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