In 2013 at the International Food Blogging Conference in Seattle, I attended a sous vide workshop on this fairly new technique (at least for the home cook) of prepping food, but unfortunately forgot about it soon after I got home. After hearing a few friends rave about their sous vides, I asked Brad for one this past Christmas, and he did not disappoint.
In a relatively short time, I am now hooked on this cooking method. For those not familiar with sous vide, it’s generally any kind of cooking that occurs in a temperature controlled water bath. Since the food never gets hotter than the temperature of the water, there’s very little risk of over-cooking! Here’s a link that explains it in detail: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sous_vide
I’ve cooked duck breasts in the past with much success, but preparing them in a sous vide water bath is a game changer. This duck came out perfectly – medium rare and so, so tender with no guess work at all. The citrus-blueberry port wine sauce provides another layer of fabulous flavor to this dish and it is so easy to prepare.
Ingredients for Duck Breast (Serves 2)
- 1 (14 ounce) boneless duck breast (chilled)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt to taste
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat sous vide water bath to 130° F / 54.4° C.
Score the fat side of the chilled breast, being careful not to pierce the meat. Drizzle with a little olive oil and liberally season the breast with salt and pepper on both sides.
Place in a vacuum-sealed bag (or whatever type of bag you use to sous vide). Cook in the water bath for 2½ to 3 hours.
Remove the bag from the water bath, let cool for about 5 minutes, and submerge in an ice bath to chill before searing. Remove the duck breast from the bag and pat dry with paper towels.
Preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and place the duck breast skin-side down for to crisp the skin, about 5 minutes or so. Turn the breast over and cook on the flesh side for 30 seconds to a minute.
Transfer the duck to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
Top with blueberry-citrus port wine sauce (see recipe below), or serve the sauce on the side if preferred.
This duck breast pairs well with Kel’s roasted red potatoes and a green veggie of choice. And, of course, a nice glass of wine, such as a pinot noir or merlot,
Ingredients for Blueberry-Citrus Port Wine Sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoon shallot, diced small
- 1 pint of blueberries
- 2 tablespoons Blueberry preserves (I used Polaner All-Fruit Spread)
- ¼ cup port wine
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (depending on how tart/sweet you want it)
- Salt to taste (I used just a pinch)
In a heavy sauce pan, heat butter to medium high, add shallots and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens.
Spoon over the duck breast or serve on the side.
Eat, drink and be merry!