Hi, bakeoff. Welcome to Discuss Cooking. You'll like it here.
Duck breast is a favorite of mine. I tend to cook it fairly plain as I really like the flavor of the duck itself. Here's what I do for a boneless duck breast.
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Cut a cross-hatch pattern into the entire surface of the skin, taking care not to cut into the meat underneath. This will allow the fat under the skin to melt and drain off easily. It's not a much of a problem with a wild duck but will give you a nice crisp skin. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, add a little oil and when the oil is hot, place the breast into the hot pan skin side down.
Leave it undisturbed to cook for several minutes. You may want to spoon off excess fat released by the breast during this period. After 3-5 minutes, check the color of the skin. It should be a deep golden brown.
When the skin color is right, turn the breast over and place the pan into the oven. Cook it in the oven for 6-10 minutes depending on the size of the breast and the degree of doneness you prefer. I do farm-raised duck breast (about 1 pound) for about 9 minutes for a medium to medium-rare finish. Of course, you can use a thermometer to be safe.
Place the breast on a plate and cover with foil to rest for 5-10 minutes.
If you like, you can make a pan sauce while you are waiting. Drain off any excess fat from the pan and toss in some minced shallots and cook until softened. Deglaze the pan with some red wine and chicken broth. Reduce to 1/3 the volume and remove from the heat. whisk in a couple of pats of butter until melted to add texture and silkiness to the sauce.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan