Sous Vide is a fantastic way to cook duck breasts because it keeps the meat as pink as you prefer while heating it all the way through.
This means that all you have to do is finish the breast in the frying pan, skin-side down, to render the fat and get amazingly crispy skin without worrying about whether the breast meat drying out, overcooking or going cold.
Note: Apologies to anyone who doesn’t have a Sous Vide water bath.
2 large duck breasts
For the spice rub
1 tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp dried red chillies
2.5 cm cinnamon stick
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil.
1. Pat the duck breasts dry and transfer to a Sous Vide vacuum pack. Set the temperature according to how you’d like your duck cooked: 55C for medium-rare; 60C for medium (never cook duck breast well done. It’s criminal). Cook in the water bath for 2-4 hours.
2. Meanwhile, put the coriander, dried chillies, cinnamon and peppercorns into a spice or coffee grinder and grind to a powder, then mix with the 5-spice power and salt. Set aside.
3. After the cooking time, snip open the vac pac, drain off and reserve the juices into a pan and pat the breasts dry with some kitchen towel.
4. Brush the skin-side of the breasts with oil and rub in HALF the spicy powder, reserving the rest for the sauce.
5. Heat a large frying pan to medium and lay the duck breasts, skin-side down, into the hot pan. Cook for around 5 mins, until the fat has render from under the skin and the skin has turned crispy.
6. Meanwhile, and the rest of the reserved spices to the reserved juices and bring to the boil. Reduce until you have a sticky sauce.
6. Carve the duck into thick slices and toss with the sticky sauce.
7. Serve with potatoes and green veg.