Duck breasts are great because the meat is really dark and really flavorful and tasty. Most importantly to those who are health conscious, it is actually very low in fat. However, the duck skin on top has quite a bit of fat underneath it. But if you know how to properly cook a duck breast. You can actually get rid of almost all of that fat and just be left with a really thin layer of very tasty, crispy, duck skin.
Wife remarked recently that I rarely cook duck and requested to have duck for our weekend dinner. We bought some duck breast from Hubers and I decided to sous vide the breast meat instead of the traditional sear and roast method.
Unlike beef short ribs, beef cheek or even the coq au vin that I cooked using the sous vide method, duck breast need not be cooked in the water bath for long hours or days. In fact, I left the duck breast in my Sous Vide Supreme for only 2 hours.
After cooking the meat in the water bath at 57C for a couple of hour, the duck fat under the skin becomes soft and begin to render out while the proteins in it starts to set. This makes the final step of crisping the skin before serving much easier.
I made some roasted sweet potato mash and mango wild rocket salad to serve with the finished duck breast which had a golden crispy skin on the outside with just a thin layer of fat under it and the meat nice and pink inside.
Fresh Duck Breast
3 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon honey
Mango Wild Rockets Salad
1 Mango (Skinned and cut into chunky cubes)
A bunch of wild rockets
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Wash and pat dry the duck breast meat.
Score the skin using a very sharp knife. Season the duck meat with sea salt on the skin side and sea salt, pepper and thyme on the meat side.
Pack the meat into sous vide bag (one to each bag) and seal.
Cook meat in Sous Vide machine at 57C for 2 hours.
Remove duck breast from bag and pat dry all sides with kitchen towel.
Heat a pan (no oil), and sear the duck meat skin side down for 5 minutes or until skin becomes golden and crispy.
Turn the meat over and cook the meat side for another 30 seconds.
Let the cooked meat rest for 5 minutes before cutting. This provides the juices time to redistribute in the meat and doesn’t run out.
Meanwhile, pour out the duck fat from the pan. Add the balsamic vinegar to the pan. Boil until the vinegar is very syrupy. Stir in the honey and return to boil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Slice the duck breast and serve immediately with the balsamic vinegar sauce, roast sweet potato mash and mango salad.
Mango Wild Rockets Salad
In a mixing bowl, toss the mango cubes and rocket leaves with drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.
You may refer to this video on how to make the roasted sweet potato mash.
|Scoring allows heat to penetrate into the skin and the breast. And it also allows more fat to render out of the skin. Objective here is to melt out the fat that is underneath the skin, while leaving the skin on, really crispy.|
|Season the skin side with sea salt|
|Thyme goes well with duck. Season meat side with sea salt, black pepper and thyme.|
|The duck meat sealed in sous vide bags|
|See the pink on the meat after 2 hours at 57C in SVS. Sear the duck skin side down for 5 minutes.|
|Allow the cooked meat to rest before serving. Notice the nice golden colour of the crispy skin.|
|I like this method of roasting the sweet potato instead of boiling to make the mash. Roasting preserves the natural sweetness|
of the potato.
|Sous Vide Duck Breast with Balsamic Honey Sauce served with|
Rosted Sweet Potato and Mango Rocket Salad
|Crispy on the outside, pink and juicy inside.|