Sous vide duck breasts with a charred orange & Cointreau sauce
Recipe type: Main, Entree
Cuisine: French
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
This sophisticated take on duck breasts is easy to make and spectacular to serve - definitely a possibility for an alternative Christmas meal.
  • 6 duck breasts, about 150g each
  • Chinese 5-spice
  • 1 large orange, sliced into 6 slices
  • a knob of butter (for frying)
  • golden caster sugar (for frying)
  • 1 cup soft brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup Cointreau
  • ⅓ cup orange juice
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp good quality chicken stock powder
  1. Fill the sous vide machine and set it to pre-heat to 56.5 Celsius. Remove all packaging from the duck breasts and pat dry. Season generously with Chinese 5-spice mix (or just salt and pepper if you prefer). Vacuum seal the breasts in the suitable sous vide plastic pouches on full vacuum. Do not overcrowd the plastic pouches - make sure that the breasts each have clear space around them so as to minimise the risk of uneven cooking.
  2. Once the water reaches the correct temperature, place the sealed vacuum pouches into the water bath and cook for at least 45 minutes but up to 4 hours (mine probably had about 3.5 hours). Once you are ready to brown the breasts, remove them from the vacuum bags and dry thoroughly pat them dry with paper towels.
  3. Place the breasts skin side-down in heavy-bottomed non-stick frying pan over high heat - use a splatter screen because they are going to sizzle and spit! Fry on high for about 2 minutes, then reduce the heat and continue to brown. Use a spatula to press the breasts down from time to time - this will ensure that the skin crisps up well. When the skin sides are golden brown and crisp, flip each breast over and cook the second side for 30 seconds or so, just to get it hot. Transfer the breasts to plate lined with paper towels and allow to rest for 5 minutes while you make the sauce.
  4. For the orange slices, heat a knob of butter over medium high heat in a frying pan. Make a little mound of golden caster sugar on a plate and dredge both sides of each orange slice in it. Place the orange slices in the melted butter and cook over medium high heat until starting to char slightly; then turn over and repeat on the other side. When charred enough, remove from the pan and set aside.
  5. For the sauce, in a clean saucepan mix the sugar and the cornstarch together – use a larger one than the ingredients indicate as the sauce will bubble up. Over medium heat, add all the remaining ingredients and stir till the sugar is dissolved. Allow the mixture to boil and thicken for 5-10 minutes and pour over each duck breast, after garnishing with a slice of charred orange.
Recipe by Cooksister | Food, Travel, Photography at