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Sous Vide Duck Recipe With Blackberry-Port Pudding

Duck is one of my favorite meats to eat. I love the combination of tender meat with rich, creamy fat. In this recipe I pair it with some grilled asparagus and a blackberry-port pudding made from an agar fluid gel.

Until recently I always pan fried my duck, which worked well, but lately I've started making sous vide duck. I first tried to sous vide a duck breast because I had one frozen in my freezer that I wanted for dinner and I didn't have time to thaw it out. I knew that it would thaw much more quickly in the sous vide machine so I decided to give it a shot. It ended up working great and I cook almost all of my duck sous vide now.

I use a few unusual garnishes with this dish since I was growing them in my garden but feel free to use the more common versions, or any garnish of your choosing.

Sous vide duck blackberry port pudding

Sous Vide Duck Time and Temperature

If you are cooking a bird that you normally would eat at a temperature besides well-done you don't necessarily have to pasteurize it. If you would traditionally feel comfortable eating it at a lower temperature, then you just need to heat it through to the temperature you prefer. Of course, with sous vide you can still pasteurize it at any temperature above 130°F (54.4°C) and that's usually what I do to be on the safe side.

For most high quality duck breast, I normally cook them just enough to heat them through and pasteurize them at a medium-rare temperature. This usually takes 2 to 3 hours for temperatures from 129°F to 135°F (53.8°C to 57.2°C). I tend to use 131°F (55°C) when I cook it.

Making Agar Fluid Gel Pudding

A great way to thicken a sauce is to turn it into a fluid gel using agar. It helps thicken and bulk up the sauce, making it stick to the duck better while coating your tongue. Agar fluid gels are easy to make, just combine a ratio of 0.5% to 2.0% agar with your sauce and it will result in a fluid gel ranging from runny to pudding-like.

To create the fluid gel pudding, combine your sauce with the amount of agar you would like to use. Blend it in with an immersion blender and then bring it to a boil. Let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Then pour the agar mixture into a mold or a rectangular container and let it completely set. Once it is set, cube the gel and puree it with a standing or immersion blender.

You can thin out the sauce by adding water or another liquid, or thicken it up through the addition of a thickener like xanthan gum or Ultra-Sperse.

If you like this recipe you can get more than 85 other inspiring recipes to get you on your way to sous vide success. It's all in my best selling book Modernist Cooking Made Easy: Sous Vide - Get Your Copy Today!

Modernist Tools, Ingredients, and Techniques Used

If you would like more information about the modernist techniques, ingredients, and equipment used in the sous vide duck recipe with blackberry-port pudding you can check out the following.

Enjoying sous vide cooking? My sous vide ruler will help you determine how long to cook various pieces of meat. It's free if you sign up for my newsletter and will make your cooking go much more smoothly!

Sous Vide Duck Recipe With Blackberry-Port Pudding

  • Published: January 12, 2016
  • By Jason Logsdon
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Total Time: 3 Hours
  • Cooks: 131°F (55°C) for 2 to 3 hours
  • Serves: 2 people

Ingredients for Sous Vide Duck With Blackberry-Port Pudding

  • For the Sous Vide Duck Breast

  • 1 duck breast
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • For the Blackberry-Port Pudding

  • 1 pint blackberries
  • 1 cup port
  • 3 grams agar, about 1%
  • Salt and pepper
  • For the Grilled Asparagus

  • 1-2 bunches thin asparagus
  • Canola oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 lemon
  • To Assemble

  • Fresh lemon thyme, or thyme leaves
  • Fresh Greek basil, or Italian basil leaves
  • Ripe blackberries
  • Nasturtium flower, optional
  • Olive oil
  • Flaky sea salt
Sous vide duck blackberry port agar pudding

Cooking Instructions for Sous Vide Duck Breast With Blackberry-Port Pudding

For the Sous Vide Duck Breast

At least 2 to 3 hours before serving

Preheat a water bath to 131°F (55°C).

Mix together the spices in a bowl. Salt and pepper the duck breast then coat it with the spices. Place the duck breast in a sous vide bag then seal. Cook the duck for 2 to 3 hours. For more information on the cooking times you can read my detailed article which addresses why is there a range in sous vide cooking times.

For the Blackberry-Port Pudding

At least 60 minutes before serving

Combine the blackberries and port then puree well with a standing or immersion blender. Strain the seeds out of the puree using a coarse strainer. Blend in the agar.

Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring occasionally. Let it simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring regularly.

Pour the blackberry mixture into a container and let it set completely. Once set, puree it well with an immersion or standing blender, adding water or port until it reaches the desired consistency.

The blackberry-port pudding can be made several hours ahead of time.

For the Grilled Asparagus

45 minutes before serving

Heat a grill to high heat.

Toss the asparagus with the canola oil, salt, and pepper. Place on the grill and cook, turning once or twice, until softened. Remove from the heat. Squeeze the lemon over the asparagus.

To Assemble

Remove the sous vided duck from the sous vide bag and pat dry. Lightly salt the outside of the duck breast then quickly sear it until the outside has browned and the fat has begun to render. Cut the duck into slices.

Place a spoonful or two of the blackberry-port pudding on a plate or bowl. Lay a few slices of the sous vide duck breast on top with some asparagus spears. Sprinkle some lemon thyme leaves and Greek basil over the top. Add a few blackberries and nasturtium flowers around the sides. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt then serve.

If you like this recipe you can get more than 85 other inspiring recipes to get you on your way to sous vide success. It's all in my best selling book Modernist Cooking Made Easy: Sous Vide - Get Your Copy Today!

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Sous Vide Duck Recipe With Blackberry-Port Pudding

PT3H 2 people Ingredients: 1 duck breast 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika Salt and pepper 1 pint blackberries 1 cup port 3 grams agar about 1% Salt and pepper 1-2 bunches thin asparagus Canola oil Salt and pepper 1/4 lemon Fresh lemon thyme or thyme leaves Fresh greek basil or Italian basil leaves Ripe blackberries Nasturtium flower optional Olive oil Flaky sea salt