- 4 duck breasts, skin on
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 pinch salt
Using a sharp knife, trim off any extra skin around the duck breasts. The skin should just cover the meat, not overhang at all. Also, slice a few slits into the skin with your knife, being careful not to cut into the meat.
Season the duck breasts with salt and pepper and place them, skin side down, in a dry, cold, large skillet. Place the skillet over medium-high heat and cook for about 5 minutes.
Starting the breasts in a cold pan will help the fat render out of the skin. Put your glaze together and reserve.
After five minutes, the skin should be starting to brown and the fat should be rendering out nicely. If it isn't browning, turn up the heat a bit. If the skin is browned, flip the breasts so they sear on the bottom side.
Cook for about 2 minutes, then flip back over to the skin side. Add breasts to a 400°F oven and bake for 4 minutes, skin side down. If your pan is oven safe, you can move it right to the oven, otherwise transfer your duck breasts to an oven-safe dish. Remove breasts from oven, flip them (skin side up now), and baste them with maple glaze. Let breasts rest for 5 minutes. Slice duck thickly (1 breast should be 4-5 slices) and serve immediately.