Why Gordon Ramsay Recommends Starting Duck Breast In A Cold Pan

If you've pan-cooked any piece of meat in your kitchen, you may be familiar with the idea of searing your meat in a hot pan to get a nice crust on it. The idea is that by putting the meat on a hot surface first, you seal in the juices and get a nice crust on either side of your protein. According to FoodFireFriends, the idea behind searing is all about adding flavor and retaining moisture. Not only that, but they explain that searing meat adds a pleasant color to your meat that is more appealing to the eye — and it's common knowledge that you eat with your eyes first. A good sear adds a crisp factor and the caramelization of the meat deepens the flavor.

With that said, there is one instance where you want to add your meat to a cold pan — and that is when cooking a duck breast. It's a trick used by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay — and you never want to argue with him.

Low and Slow

According to a video posted on his YouTube Channel, Chef Gordon Ramsay insists that starting a duck breast in a cold pan is best for rendering the delicious fat that lives under the skin. Ramsay says that if you put a duck breast into a hot pan, it will seal the skin, causing its tasty fat to get trapped in between the skin and meat. 

According to Maple Leaf Farms, to get the perfect cook on your duck breast, first score the skin. This enables some of the fat to sneak out as the meat heats up in your pan. Place the seasoned duck breast skin-side-down into a cold pan and cook it on a lower heat for about 10 minutes. Once the fat is nicely rendered you can flip the breast over and sear that on high heat before finishing it in the oven or on the grill. 

If it's good enough for Ramsay, it's good enough for anyone. Serve that duck breast with your favorite mashed potatoes or roasted vegetable recipe for a special date night dinner or evening around the table with loved ones.