N.B. this post was updated on 19.6.2014 with more recent photos from a par excellence canard a l’orange for a 10pax sit-down dinner on 24.3.2014.
did my first sous vide crispy skin duck breast last week on 25.1.2014. was quite pleased with the result. 🙂
i took a leaf from my favourite video chef, chef john of foodwishes.com, video recipe on stove-top sous vide duck breast. chef john did it beautifully with a zip-lock bag immersed in water in a dutch oven heated over stove-top. i may try that some time. for now i am more comfortable with using the oven. so i first brined the duck breasts (2 pieces) for 2days with salt & sugar brining solution (2 heap tbsp sugar & 1 flat tbsp salt in about 800ml water). read more about brining here.
then i placed the duck breasts in a covered pyrex oven dish with enough brining solution covering the duck breasts, and placed in the oven for 5hrs at 60degC. i used a meat thermometer to check that the meat was between 55degC and 60degC (on this occasion it was 58degC).
i removed from the oven & thoroughly dried the duck with paper towels, and then scored the breast, just cutting the fat. i then made a herb mix. i did not have fresh herbs so used dried basil & tomato herb mix, rosemary, coarse black pepper. i did not add sea salt as the duck was already brined. i rubbed the herb mix into the scored fat and the meat & sides.
i heat a non-stick pan with just a dash of vegetable oil to smoking, and placed the 2 duck breasts skin-side down, pressed against the pan & let the fat rendered out for about 5mins or more.
the result was an excellently flavoured medium rare duck breast with nice crispy skin. for this first attempt, the fat was not rendered out enough especially at the edge which was still white colour. still it was a very good recipe to reproduce a nice consistent sous vide interior & a crispy skin.
i am still working on the sauce. i could not locate the sauce recipe on chef john’s video. currently i am thinking to use the duck in orange sauce recipe OR to experiment on a fruit jam sauce mix. 🙂
anyway, i will be doing this dish for a 8pax dinner for my buddies on 13.2.2014. for now i will probably go with the orange sauce.