January 21, 2014

Quack & Vac

We didn't wait very long to break the vacuum sealer and immersion circulator out of their packaging to give them a whirl.  It was just too hard to resist!

We picked up a couple duck breasts for our initial test drive.  This was perfect for our test run because we've made this dish pretty successfully in the past (despite the occasional duck fat spill from substandard bags breaking).  We started by scoring the skin, and seasoning them with salt and pepper.  We also threw a couple sprigs of thyme and rosemary into the bag for additional flavor.  
Once everything was in the bag, we sealed it up.  I don't know why we waited so long to get a vacuum sealer, because this little machine is so magical.  Just slide the bag's open end into the machine, close and lock the lid, press a button, and in less than 10 seconds, you have a vacuum sealed pouch.  It couldn't be simpler! Not only will it come in handy for sous vide cooking, but it will help us better preserve our various ingredients.
We clamped out immersion circulator to the side of our stock pot, which was filled with water, and placed our ducks into the pot.  Several sources online recommended cooking duck breasts at 135 degrees for 2 hours, so that's what we went with.  We programmed our circulator, and within 5 minutes, it was up to temperature.  We popped in our duck and covered it with some aluminium foil and we were good to go.
After 2 hours, the alarm sounded, and it was time to pull out our duck breasts.  We wanted to crisp up the skins, so we took them out of the pouch, and placed them skin-side down in a hot pan.  The fat rendered out even more, and the skin was perfectly crisp.
We pulled them out of the pan, and let them rest for about 5 minutes.  You don't want to lose all those juices when you slice into it!
Cherries are a popular compliment to duck, but we didn't have any on hand.  What we did have was some extra cranberry sauce.  We just added a little butter and brown sugar, and we had a slightly tart and slightly sweet sauce!  As a side dish, we whipped up one of our favorites, the kale-sunchoke farro hash.
Sous vide is such an easy technique that leaves you with perfectly cooked meat every time.  With our new toys, it's going to be so much easier to play around with different meats, root veggies, and even eggs.


  1. Thank God for the Food Saver, it is really great for assisting small businesses with unique ideas for delivering their product fresh. I own a carrot cake business and it is a wonderful ideal for shipping my cakes. I freeze the cake solid after it has cooled down and then wrap with saran wrap. Then I use the Food Saver to seal the cake and pull the air out where it is a firm fit for the cake, being careful not to make it to tight

  2. I have bought a Foodsaver V3880 for sous vide but I don't exactly know how to use it. Thanks for your helpful notes.

  3. Again a wonderful recipe from you.Thanks alot.

  4. Look so yummy! i'm totally making this. Thanks!