5-Spice Duck Breast

This one is all about the duck. I find duck a bit hit and miss when eating out. Some is amazing, some is very disappointing. Unfortunately I find cooking it can be a bit hit and miss as well. To get control of the situation back I’ve been using the sous vide, with a bit of finishing on a hot cast-iron pan, to cook up some sure-fire duck breast.


5 Spice duck breast with red and white rice, salad and sriracha-mayo


  • Two duck breasts, skin on.
  • Five spice salt mix
  • Butter


  • Wash and dry the duck breast before coating with a generous amount of spice mix and placing in the fridge overnight. This is a very light, dry cure which helps enhance the flavour.
  • For the sous vide, aim for between about 2 and 4 hours at 57.2° Two hours gives a bit of that duck chewiness but by 3.5 hours the meat is beautifully tender. Give it as much time as you can – although probably not much beyond this.

Duck breasts bagged and cooking for 3.5 hours

  • Once you remove the duck breasts from the bags, give them a good dry and heat up a frying pan containing some butter. Place the duck breasts into the pan and sear until the skin is golden brown and starting to crisp up. This does not take very long (five minutes tops) so have the rest of your meal ready to go. You can afford to go fairly had on the skin as there is a good thick fat layer to protect the meat. The longer you go here the more this will render out. Quickly sear the other side and edges ( bout 30s each)

Duck breast post-sear and ready for slicing

  • Once seared, remove from the pan and slice before serving. In this case I’m planning on serving it with a sort of white and red rice mix with duck stock as seasoning. Sort of a Duck Rice? At any rate, here’s another advantage of sous vide – I’m busy cooking at the moment yet I can still have a chance to map out the recipe and work out what I’m going to serve it with before its done!

White and Red Duck Rice

  • This dish goes well with red or white wine, it’s versatile like that.

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