How to Cook Duck Fillets

by Jeremy Hoefs

Duck fillets are a flavorful main dish for a fancy meal.

Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Duck meat is considered a delicacy in some cultures, while other cultures rarely enjoy this flavorful meat. Regardless of your culture, duck fillets -- or breasts -- are an alternative meat source to more common meats such as chicken or steak. Duck fillets, however, have a layer of fat that requires a specific cooking process that enhances the flavor and tenderness.

Remove any excess fat or skin on the outside of the duck fillets with a sharp knife.

Pierce the skin of the duck fillets so the fat can melt away during the cooking process.

Sprinkle salt and pepper on the outside of the duck fillets.

Preheat a nonstick skillet to low heat. Don’t put any grease or oil in the skillet, because the natural fat from the duck meat will release while cooking.

Place the duck fillets, skin-side down, in the skillet.

Cook the fillets for five minutes and occasionally push down gently with a spatula to push out extra fat.

Flip the duck fillets to the flesh side with a spatula, and cook for another three to four minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the duck fillets from the skillet, and place them in a small baking dish.

Place the baking dish in the oven and cook for 12 minutes, or until golden brown and the juices running clear. Your duck fillets are fully cooked when the internal temperature is 165 degrees, according to a meat thermometer.

Remove the fillets from the oven and wait 10 minutes before serving.


  • Save the fat from the skillet and baking dish for future use. Try cooking duck fillets on the grill for seven to eight minutes per side. Fresh duck fillets are typically found in the meat section of a supermarket.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

About the Author

Based in Nebraska, Jeremy Hoefs began writing fitness, nutrition, outdoor and hunting articles in 2006. His articles have been published in "Star City Sports," "Hunting Fitness Magazine" and RutWear field journals, as well as on the Western Whitetail website. Hoefs graduated with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Nebraska Wesleyan University.