Sunday, February 5, 2012

The best duck breast in the world!

How wicked does this look??!!


I knew it was a matter of time before I would succumb to sous vide. I've been thinking about it for as long as about 6 months. Today, I yielded to the temptation and attempted my first home sous vide duck breast. The effort was worth every minute of my time and attention! 

In the absence of a commercial sous vide machine, I did a home version consisting of a cast iron pot, ziploc, water and a meat thermometer and maintained the temperature at 55 degrees Celsius for an hour.

Then, I pan-seared the meat for 5 minutes on the skin and 1 minute on the other side. This golden glow got me wildly ecstatic!

Pan-searing the duck breast ensures the fat is rendered, leaving a nice crisp skin that encases the moist flesh beneath.

A big thumbs-up from my man. "Fine dining domesticated," he says.

This costs a fraction of what you will have to pay in a restaurant. Ducks, duck fats and I have a lot of chemistry going. I've roasted a whole duck in 4 hours - click here to see the photos. But this little duck breast project has got to be my most exciting and rewarding culinary experiment. Rated a close second is my home-cured smoked salmon. I will definitely be making this again, and very soon too!

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  1. Nice! Your pictures have convinced me that I should try this.

  2. I love this post and the duck really looks saliva smacking good!!

  3. wow ! looks divine...must try !! not to get that thermometer's crazy expensive in NZ..but even more expensive at the restaurants !

  4. Trish, try it and let me know how it goes!

    Sharon, heard you guys had a blogger feast - I saw it on Wendy's blog. Sounds like fun!

    Tracie, I was told ducks in France would be more flavourful than those here. I've tried them in Germany and I can't really tell the difference. Maybe I don't have such a discerning palate yet!

  5. Haha, it was great meeting them for the first time. :) We all ate to our hearts' content and still had leftovers.

  6. Looks fantastic. Now to taste it. When? Slurp... EK

  7. Wow, the skin.... THE SKIN!!!!!
    I want the skin, all the skin for me please.

  8. Hey, let me know if you're ever driving up to Penang or Ipoh, maybe can arrange for a meeting :)
    I do travel to KL quite often.. so if u happen to make a trip down, we'll see how, Sharon, U, me and others, ok!

  9. You're hilarious, Wendy! Yes, actually, you're right about the skin. It was absolutely divine. And it would be so fun to meet you and the gang! Now, speaking of Penang, my hubby is there today la!

  10. Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is great, let alone the content!
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  11. What do you think is the best way to get that crispy skin w/o using the sous vide option? I love when duck has that nice crispy skin and that looks amazing!!

  12. Thanks! I'm sure you could get it crispy without the sous vide too. It's the pan searing that gives it the crisp. Try it and come back here and let me know how it goes! Enjoy your quack on the rack. Yum yum.

  13. Thanks!! I will - it may be a while until I get to cook it but I'll for sure come back and let you know how it goes!!

  14. Thanks!! It may be a while until I'm able to cook it, but once I do, I'll definitely come back and let you know how it turns out w/o the sous vide!

  15. Ee, this is Quay Po, I am using my Quay Lo's computer and lazy to log out and in. We will be checking otu soon so when I am back in KL, I will go find a duck to try this out. Looks really exciting to me. Wow! if I can do this well, I can show off to my family in the states when I am there. I can see crispy duck skin, fat rendered out tender meat, simply AMAZING! BRAVO!

  16. Hi Quay Po. It is a full proof method to get succulent and moist meat. If I can do it, anyone can! Come back and tell me when you have a chance to feed the family with this! By the way, I love the name Simplifried.

  17. I shall try this. I have been struggling to get sous vide duck breast cooked well (I was scared of pan frying the fat side for too long). Now I have the idea it can be fried for longer. (BTW, love your blog recipe pork tenderloin - it works well).

    Greetings from the UK

    1. Thanks for dropping by, and I'm so glad to hear you love the pork tenderloin post. Send pictures of your food to me at! And yes, you really have to get at this duck breast - it is so worth the effort and it is really not as daunting as we all think it is.

      P/S: I love the UK - where exactly are you from? And don't forget to leave me a name to call you by!


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