Demystify the Duck

If you’re a duck lover, you needn’t limit yourself to enjoying this flavorful poultry in a restaurant. It’s actually quite easy to cook duck in your own kitchen. These recipes feature duck prepared with a variety of techniques, from grilling and roasting to braising and tea-smoking.

Pan-roasted duck breasts are great for beginning cooks: simply sear boneless duck breast halves on the stovetop, spoon off the excess fat and finish roasting in the oven (see related tip at bottom). Braising is another foolproof method that’s excellent for duck legs, which emerge moist and incredibly tender.

Duck takes well to bold seasonings, so be generous with spices like cumin, star anise or Chinese five-spice. Fresh or dried fruit, such as figs or cherries, helps to offset the richness of the meat. And to drink? Pinot Noir and duck are classic partners at the table.