Whenever I discuss duck, I always get a variety of reactions. Some eyes light up, similar to when people think of bacon (hmm...bacon) and others cringe at the thought of the taste or even trying it! Well, it's one of my favorite proteins to cook, particularly the breast. It's one of the true arts of cooking because it's a slower process that requires patience in order to accomplish two important things.
1. The rendering of the large amount of fat in order to obtain a crispy skin.
2. A medium temperature, which I think makes duck taste best. Everyone has his or her temperature preferences so please, do not let me speak for you, god for bid, I learned that lesson in the restaurant world!
Depending on the size of the breast, you could render the fat for up to 15 minutes, without turning. After the fat is rendered down, place pan in the oven and allow to finish cooking...6-8 minutes for a medium temperature (note: as the duck releases the fat, remove from the pan and reserve to cook with other ingredients - it's the natural oil that tastes the BEST when cooking vegetables to go with your dish).
The duck breast is a protein that once it reaches a medium rare temperature it will "floor it" to well done before you know it. But, that's the fun about cooking such temper mental ingredients - experimenting until you get it just the way you like it. So, I wouldn't plan on serving duck for a dinner party the first time you try it out.
Going back to my point about the natural fat from the duck...USE IT! Duck fat rules...really! For my dish I cooked cauliflower florets, some amazing oyster mushrooms I found in the market and to "freshen" up the dish - a raw mushroom, celery leaf and watercress salad with sherry vinegar dressing.