Dry-Aged Roast Duck Breast Recipe

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik]

After breaking down and dry-aging ducks on your own, make the work worth it with this show-stopping roast duck breast. A hot-and-fast approach quickly browns the skin and renders fat. The ducks are pulled from the oven before they reach their target internal temperature so as not to risk overcooking, and carryover cooking takes care of bringing the breasts to a juicy, rosy medium.

Sliced and served with a rich red wine duck jus, this roast duck is the Big Duck Project mic drop.

Why It Works

  • Roasting duck crowns with high heat for a short period of time keeps the meat rosy and moist, without any risk of overcooking and drying it out.
  • The duck finishes cooking out of the oven, relying on carryover cooking to achieve the desired level of doneness.
  • The dry skin and firm texture of dry-aged duck allows it to cook and brown very quickly.
    • Yield:Serves 4
    • Active time:10 minutes
    • Total time:40 minutes


    • 2 dry-aged duck crowns (see note)
    • Kosher salt
    • For Serving:
    • Coarse sea salt
    • Red wine duck jus (optional)


    1. 1.

      Adjust oven rack to middle position, and preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Using a sharp knife, remove wishbone from each duck crown, then pluck any remaining feathers from the breast area. If ducks haven’t been brushed with shio koji, season them all over with kosher salt (there is no need to salt them if they have been treated with shio koji). Transfer, breast-side-up, to a wire rack set in a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.

    2. 2.

      Roast ducks, rotating baking sheet after 8 minutes, until internal temperature registers between 120°F (49°C) and 125°F (52°C) on an instant-read thermometer at the thickest part of the breast, about 16 minutes.

    3. 3.

      Transfer baking sheet to kitchen counter, and let duck crowns rest until internal temperature registers between 130°F (54°C) for medium-rare and 135°F (57°C) for medium on an instant-read thermometer at the thickest part of the breast, about 15 minutes. If duck does not reach target internal temperature, return to oven to finish cooking, taking care not to overcook it.

    4. 4.

      Once rested, transfer duck crowns to cutting board, carve breasts, then slice into pieces. Serve right away, passing coarse sea salt and duck jus (if using) at the table.

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