I love everything about duck. The crispy skin. The tender meat. Just one of my all time favorites. But, it is easy (and I have) to overcook using the sear/oven method. Cooking duck breast sous vide brings out all the best qualities and saves that amazing medium rare meat that I love every time. So grab a couple duck breasts and give it a try!
🔪Prep Time 5 minutes
🛁Sous Vide Time 2 hour @130F/54.5C
👨🍳Searing Time 6-7 min
🦆 Total Time 2 hour 12ish minutes
- Skin on Duck Breast
- Salt and Pepper to taste.
- Cast Iron Skillet
This will be your skin on duck breast. When we sear this, 99% of the time it will be on this side. We will be able to get a great crisp on the skin while still protecting our medium rare breast.
This will be your skinless side.
Start by scoring your skin. You can do this any way you want. Here I went with a simple grid pattern. What this is going to allow us to do is 1.) get the seasoning in towards the duck and 2.) most importantly, when we sear the breast, the skin is going to want to contract and shrivel up. Scoring the skin allows us to retain more surface area contact on the pan.
After scoring I season very liberally with salt and pepper. Then I leave the breast uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. This is optional but I feel like this gives me a better tasting duck. This is what the duck looks like after a night in the refrigerator.
After it comes out of the fridge you can place the breast in your bag. I’m using the gallon size Ziplock type bags.
In place of a nicely vacuum sealed bag, you’re going to want to use the water displacement method which is achieved by submerging the protein in the water till most of the air is out of the bag. Then secure the bags to the side of the Sous Vide Container with binder clips.
Set your Sous Vide cooker to 130F/54.5C and place bag in bath for two hours.
After 2 hours, your duck breast is ready to come out. Take the breast out of the bag and pat dry with paper towels. Right now it doesn’t look that appetizing, but we’ll take care of that in a minute. It is extremely important to get the outsides as dry as possible because that is what is going to produce the best contact with the pan for the sear.
Since the skin side is full of unrendered fat we can’t just sear the breast like we normally would a steak. We are going to start the duck breast in a dry (no oil), cold Cast Iron Skillet. Once the breast is in the pan, turn the heat to high. At about the 2 minute mark you are going to start to see the fat rendering. I will now use my tongs to move the breast around in the fat for another minute making it 3 minutes total on high heat. At this time I will reduce heat to medium and continue searing on the skin side for another 3-4 minutes. Continually moving the breast around to make sure all the skin is in contact with the pan.
After 6-7 minutes total, flip your breast. Your skin should like like this. Insert drool emoji. Now just kiss the other side for about 30 seconds.
When ready to eat, slice your duck and enjoy. Plated here with a couple of sides from a Gordon Ramsey dish. Creamy leaks and crispy fondant potato. Highly recommended pairing.
Since I have been cooking my duck breast Sous Vide, I have been to high quality restaurants and been scared to order the duck. On one such occasion where I did, it was severely overcooked and I was crushed. Using this method to cook your duck is almost fool proof. If I can do this you certainly can too.
If you enjoyed this recipe I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a line in the comments down below and let me know what you liked or what you didn’t like, your opinion matters to me. As always you can follow this blog from the button below, as well as your favorite social media platform! Follow on Instagram and Facebook @JBSOUSVIDE to be the first to know when I post a new cook and share it with a friend!