Sous Vide Duck Breast with Port, Oranges & Juniper Berries
Sous vide cookery is safe, convenient and easy. Cooking inside of a sealed container allows you to lock in flavors, juices and fats unlike any other technique. It’s a foolproof method of cooking your favorite foods with precise temperature control. It’s also extremely versatile—from beef and salmon to vegetables and sauces, you can cook practically anything perfectly every time. Really, the only thing you can’t cook with a sous vide machine is popcorn. And what used to cost restaurants thousands of dollars to achieve, you can now do for the cost of a good sauté pan.
Sous Vide Crisped Duck with Juniper Berries & Port
- 2 skin on duck breasts
- 6 orange slices
- 1/4 cup port
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 golf ball sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon juniper berries, gently crushed
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 star anise
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 cup port
- 1 1/2 cups dark rich chicken stock
- 1/2 cup orange juice
Place the duck breasts, orange slices, port, garlic, ginger and juniper berries in a vacuum bag. Season with salt and pepper. Seal the bag and let rest in the fridge for 8 hours.
Let duck come to room temperature, then place in a 135 degree F water bath for 45 minutes.
While the duck is cooking, make the sauce. Place the butter, shallot and spices in a small saucepan and cook for 5 minutes. Add the port. Bring to a boil, and reduce by half. Add the stock then reduce heat to maintain a simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon. Add the orange juice and cook for an additional 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper, and reserve.
Remove the duck breasts from the bag and dry with paper towels. Score the skin in a cross hatch pattern. Place skin-side down in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Cook until the skin is crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Reserve to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut and serve with the port reduction and a dollop of cranberry sauce.
Photographs by Madeleine Hill.