Jun 27, 2016
Golden Crisp Sous Vide Duck Breast
Take a Quack at this Duck Breast Recipe
We’ll admit that this perfect golden crisp sous vide duck breast recipe isn’t the absolute most bare-bones recipe possible. Skeptical souls may feel that the extra chilling and scoring steps seem fussy at first glance. But we promise that the additional investment of time and effort will pay off big time in the end.
If you’re dreaming of duck breast with a perfect golden crisp over the juiciest, medium-rare meat (and who ISN’T?), then this recipe for sous vide duck breast is sure to do the trick.
Time: 1 hour sous vide
Serves: 4 people
2 pounds boneless skin on duck breasts, preferably from Moulard ducks (2-4 breasts, depending on size), excess fat and external silver skin trimmed
- Salt to taste
1 tablespoon canola oil or other neutral vegetable oil
Flakey sea salt, such as Maldon or fleur de sel, to finish
Preheat water bath to 55ºC (131ºF).
(Optional) Lightly sear the skin side of the breast using a blow torch or a lightly oiled cast iron skillet on high heat, just until the skin has tightened and blistered, with almost no browning, about 15 to 30 seconds per breast. This will make the skin easier to score and begin the rendering process.
Place the breasts, skin side up and uncovered, in a freezer for 10 minutes, until the skin feels firm to the touch.
- Using a very sharp knife, score parallel lines into the skin of each breast, about ¼ inch apart, being carful not to cut all the way through the skin and into the flesh. Rotate 90 degrees and repeat the parallel scoring (perpendicular to the first scoring) to create a crosshatch/grid pattern.
- Once all the breasts have been scored, season each with salt on both sides, then place into a 1-gallon freezer safe zip bag and seal using the water displacement method.
Place the bagged breasts into the preheated water bath and cook for 1 hour (or up to 5 hours).
Once the breasts are cooked, remove them from the bath and then take them out of the bag, transferring them to a plate or tray. Pat them thoroughly dry and then place them into your freezer for 10 minutes, or your fridge for up to 20. It’s important to allow the breasts to cool somewhat so that when you render the skin they don’t overcook.
- Once the cooked breasts have had time to cool, heat the canola in a cast iron skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Place the breasts skin side down into the pan, pressing them down (using your hand or a spatula) so that all of the skin comes into contact with the pan. After one minute, check to see that the skin has begun to turn golden brown. If you notice that the skin hasn’t browned, or has browned too much, adjust the heat accordingly.
Continue cooking the duck until the skin is crisp and has turned a deep, even golden brown, about 2-3 minutes more. (There will be a noticeable quantity of delicious duck fat rendered into the pan—save this culinary gold for browning potatoes or other veggies!)
- Once the skin has fully rendered, remove the breasts from the pan and transfer them to a cutting board with the skin side facing up. Let the duck rest for 5 minutes then slice crosswise into ¼ inch thick pieces. Serve immediately, sprinkled with coarse sea salt, and get ready for your duck dreams to come true.
Also view the full recipe on our Tender sous vide community here.
Tags: basics, chef, cooking, culinary, duck, duck breast, foodie, how to, nom, poultry, recipe, sous vide.