Duck breast salad

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Michi

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Sous vide duck breast salad. Duck breast at 55 ºC (131 ºF) for 60 minutes. Then cooled in an ice bath with some weights on top to flatten the skin side. Breasts seared in a cast iron skillet.

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WildBoar

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<fumbles around looking for a 'like' button> :D
 

DamageInc

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Duck breast is amazing for salads. Reminds me of a duck salad I made last year with confit legs, frisee, shallot, pomegranate, and walnuts.

Do you think that it's worth doing a duck breast with sous vide compared to pan frying?

 

Michi

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Duck breast is amazing for salads. Reminds me of a duck salad I made last year with confit legs, frisee, shallot, pomegranate, and walnuts.
LIKE!
Do you think that it's worth doing a duck breast with sous vide compared to pan frying?
To me, the advantage of sous vide is that it's foolproof. If I'm behind with whatever other thing I'm preparing, I can just leave the duck in the water for another hour or two, and no-one is the wiser. And, I get the perfect core temperature each and every time, guaranteed.

I don't think that sous vide is any better than pan frying. It's just that, with pan frying, both frying temperature and timing are really critical. Get either of those just a little bit wrong, and you end up with something that's too raw on the inside, or burned on the outside (or both), or over-done by the time the skin crisps up etc… With sous vide, it's pretty much idiot-proof (and stress-proof).
 

DamageInc

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I've only done sous vide duck breast once before and I had a hard time getting the skin crispy and the meat tasted more boiled than fried after searing it. I've done a lot of steak and other stuff sous vide but duck just didn't work out to my liking. Maybe I should give it another go.
 

Michi

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I've only done sous vide duck breast once before and I had a hard time getting the skin crispy and the meat tasted more boiled than fried after searing it. I've done a lot of steak and other stuff sous vide but duck just didn't work out to my liking. Maybe I should give it another go.
The sous vide step really is there just to get the meat to the degree of doneness you want. Dial the temperature, wait an hour or two, and that's that.

Before searing, make sure that you have cooled down the meat first. Throw the sous vide bag into an ice bath or cold water to get the temperature back down. After taking the breasts out of the bag, dry them really thoroughly with kitchen paper. If you have moisture on the meat, you have to evaporate all of that before the meat an actually sear; by the time that happens, you may have added too much heat, causing the internal temperature to get too high.

When searing duck breasts, put them into a hot pan skin side down. Then immediately reduce the temperature to medium-low. That's to render the fat out of the skin. Might take five minutes or might take ten minutes. It depends on temperature and thickness of the skin. Baste the breasts with the rendered fat every now and then.

Keep an eye on the skin side. You want to keep rendering until the skin is quite thin, indicating that most of the fat has been rendered out. (By then, you should have quite a lot of rendered fat in the pan.) Once you get there, turn the heat back up to high, and sear the skin until it has the right degree of browning and crispiness. Flip the breasts over onto the flesh side and turn off the heat. Let them cook until you get a little bit of browning. (Just a little; you don't want to over-cook the breasts at this stage.)

Rest for five to ten minutes before slicing.
 

HRC_64

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Nice writeup. somebody needs to do battle royale
of thermapen vs sous vide for best method ;)
 

Prgcook

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Try scoring the skin and putting it in a nonstick pan dead cold no oil, turn to low heat to let the fat render out for 7-10ish minutes. Take off save fat for cool stuff. Cool down the breast then sear tf out of it turn it over heat off, add some compound butter baste and then cut into pieces, if you cut on a bias 30ish degree it will make the meat more tender and buttery mouthfeel
 

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Made sous vide duck breast yesterday. Scored the skin and seared in a dry pan until lightly golden, then bagged it up and gave it 1h30@58C, then seared it in clarified butter until crisp.
It was nice and tasty, very tender.

DamageInc, I saw your med-rare duck breast in your ramen-post and can't think of any reason to change your method- that looked awesome..

Lars
 

daveb

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I like to slowly render some fat and finish w sear - then bag and tag it. My only prob with typical SV then sear is it does nothing to render the fat off and it can get pretty greasy.
 

Michi

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I like to slowly render some fat and finish w sear - then bag and tag it. My only prob with typical SV then sear is it does nothing to render the fat off and it can get pretty greasy.
The trick is to be patient with the sear. Don't go too high in temperature and give it more time. I get a good amount of fat rendered out that way.
 

Phip

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I like to slowly render some fat and finish w sear - then bag and tag it. My only prob with typical SV then sear is it does nothing to render the fat off and it can get pretty greasy.
Dave, just to make sure I get this right: you render and then sear and then sous vide. Do you then sear again before serving or just serve at sous vide temperature?
 
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