A great way to cook perfectly medium-rare duck breasts is to cook them sous vide. The advantage of cooking duck sous vide is how easy it is to cook the breasts evenly, all the way through, while keeping them tender and juicy.
The fresh thyme and smoked paprika in this recipe add some freshness and depth of flavor to the duck. Using sous vide cooks the duck in its own juices, which concentrates the flavors and makes it easier to get perfectly done duck every time.
To get crispy skin on the duck, brown it skin side down, in a cold pan, prior to placing it in the sous vide bath. In our testing this resulted in a slightly smaller breast, which was worth it because it reduced the amount of time it took to crisp the skin at the end of the cooking process, helping to keep the duck a beautiful medium-rare.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Start by combing the thyme, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub the spices on the outside of the chilled duck breasts. Place the duck skin-side down in a cold pan and turn the heat on medium high.
Let the duck brown for 3 minutes or until it starts to render out some fat. Seal the duck up in a plastic bag and cook the breasts at 131℉ for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
Take the duck out of the bag and brown it, skin side down, in a hot pan until it is nice and crispy, this usually takes a couple of minutes.
Let the duck rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
If you like your duck cooked a little more, raise the temperature to 133℉ or brown it on both sides for a little longer at the end of the cooking process.
For a delicious side, use the juices and fat left in the pan to finish potatoes or vegetables to go along with the duck.
Want to learn more, read For Perfectly Cooked Duck Breasts Use Sous Vide.