Every time, this sous vide duck breast recipe cooks the duck to juicy, tender perfection.
When served with fluffy garlic mashed potatoes and braised leeks simmered in thyme and white wine, you’ll feel like a gourmet chef (but it’s easy and fun, I promise).
WHY SOUS VIDE DUCK BREAST?
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Unlike chicken breast, duck breast is a rich and dark meat with a thick layer of fat on top.
The preferred method for producing the most tender duck meat is low and slow, making it an ideal candidate for sous vide cooking.
You may think the skin is too thick and fat, but searing after sous vide can transform the skin into a thin and crispy crust, so don’t trim it off.
Scoring the skin to allow the fat to easily render away while cooking. What exactly is sous vide? In French, sous vide means “under vacuum.”
It’s a low-and-slow cooking method in which food is vacuum-sealed in a bag and then cooked to a precise temperature in a warm water bath. Sous vide duck breast ensures a tender and juicy texture!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED FOR THIS RECIPE?
In reality, all you need is duck breast and your favorite seasonings! The following are the ingredients I used in this recipe.
- Fresh or frozen duck breasts
- Koshar Salt
- Black pepper, freshly ground
- Serving Red Wine Sauce (optional)
HOW TO COOK SOUS VIDE DUCK BREAST?
- Score duck breasts by placing the breast skin side up on a cutting board. Score the skin in a crosshatch pattern (as shown below), being careful not to cut all the way through to the meat. Scoring aids in the rendering of fat from the skin during cooking.
- Season the breast only on the skin side with salt (no pepper, as I like the clean look of the skin). Then, season the flesh side of the breast with salt and pepper.
- Cooking duck breasts sous vide: Place seasoned duck breasts in a vacuum bag or zip-lock bag. Vacuum seal the bag and cook for about 2 hours in the sous vide warm water bath at 135°F (57°C).
- Sear the sous vide cooked duck breasts skin-side down in a skillet until the skin turns golden crispy. For 30 seconds, flip and sear the flesh side. Allow the breasts to rest for 3-5 minutes before slicing and serving.
PACKAGING DUCK FOR THE SOUS VIDE
- Putting ingredients in an airtight bag or container is an important part of sous vide cooking. This can be accomplished through the use of either vacuum sealing or the water displacement method.
- A vacuum sealer uses a vacuum to remove all of the air and seal the contents of a plastic bag.
- Keeping the bag airtight prevents it from floating, which can lead to uneven cooking and bacteria contamination. To seal my food, I use a FoodSaver.
TIPS FOR MAKING TENDER AND JUICY DUCK BREASTS
- Before sous vide cooking, score the skin. Keep the scores about a half-inch apart and cut all the way through the edges. This will keep them from curling up during the searing process.
- Vacuum seal the meat without a vacuum sealer: If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can use the water displacement technique to seal the bag. Simply seal the bag except for one corner and slowly place it in a large pot of water. Make sure that everything below the zip-line is submerged in water before sealing the rest of the bag.
- Pat dry duck breasts thoroughly after sous vide cooking; any moisture left on the skin will interfere with proper searing, making the skin less crispy.
- Do not discard the rendered fat from duck breasts. It is regarded as one of the healthiest animal fats. Frying potatoes in this fat is a traditional French way of preparing duck.
TEMPERATURE AND DONENESS
Duck, unlike other types of poultry, can be safely cooked at a lower temperature. When the breast is cooked to 135°F (57°C), we prefer it medium-rare.
Keep in mind that the temperature will rise slightly later when searing in the pan. This recipe yields extremely tender duck meat with a silky-smooth texture.
If you want to cook your duck to a different level of doneness, refer to the chart below:
|Duck Breast Internal Temperature||Doneness|
|130 °F / 54 °C||Rare|
|135 °F / 57 °C||Medium-rare (tender and juicy)|
|145 °F / 63 °C||Medium (less juicy, but still tender)|
|155 °F / 68 °C||Well-done (More chewy)|
WHAT IS THE WATER DISPLACEMENT METHOD?
The displacement method involves slowly immersing a ziplock bag in water and pushing the air out of the bag’s top (the bag should be slightly open at the top to allow air to escape).
Clip the bag to the side with a clip (I use binder clips) to keep it from floating and letting air and/or water inside.
HOW TO SERVE SOUS VIDE DUCK BREAST?
Serve the chicken breast with potatoes or green vegetables, thinly sliced, and drizzled with red wine or berry sauce. It would go well with:
- Broccoli Steamed
- Beans, Green
- If you have any duck fat left in your vacuum seal bag after removing the duck breasts from the sous vide to pan sear, keep it and use it like any other fat. Tossing it over potatoes, green beans, or anything else you’d use bacon fat on before cooking results in super flavorful side dishes!
- Allow your duck to rest for a few minutes before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute and keep your duck breasts moist.
- You don’t want to use bottled orange juice for the glaze because you want the extra flavor that comes from zesting the orange.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Duck breast is an excellent candidate for sous-vide cooking because it is best served medium rare. Cooking it at 130°F for two hours softens and renders out much of the fat under the skin, while the proteins begin to set, making it easier to crisp without shrinking on the stovetop just before serving.
It’s best to cook the duck breast for 1.5 to 2 hours in a warm water bath. If you’re in a hurry, take it out after 1 hour, or cook it for up to 4 hours.
As with steak and chicken, it’s critical to cut the duck breast against the grain, which shortens the muscle fibers and makes the duck feel more tender when chewed. I cut it into quarter-inch thick slices for a meaty bite.
To begin, the breast of the duck is a rich, dark meat covered by a thick slab of fat. Duck meat is dry and chewy when cooked like a chicken breast, and it’s covered in a half-inch piece of blubber.
Inspired by: https://www.wenthere8this.com/sous-vide-duck-breast/