Sous vide duck breasts, coffee, radicchio di Treviso, green beans and fresh spinach

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Sous vide is now a part of our home cooking, so we are more than happy to share some more recipes with you! We already tried eggs and chicken, so this time we chose ducks breast from France (yes, we do spend too much money on food, no, we don’t care). Let’s get cooking!

For 2 portions

1 French duck (Henry IV)
300 g root vegetables
1 onion
30 g tomato purée
200 ml red wine
4 peppercorns
2 all spice
2 bay leaves

a little five spice
1 l chicken stock
1 espresso
20 g butter
50 g green beans
50 g fresh baby spinach
50 g radicchio di Treviso
salt and pepper

Honey vinaigrette

20 g honey
30 g olive oil
10 ml rice vinegar
salt

Let’s start with the sauce. Portion the duck and divide into breasts and legs. Cut the bones into smaller pieces (I cooked it together with the legs, as I used these in another recipe that is coming up!).

First, take all the fat parts of the duck and sear them in a dry pan until they start to turn golden and release a lot of fat. Add the root vegetables cut into big chunks and sear until golden, then put in finely chopped onion. Add the tomato purée and sear again, pour in the wine, add the bay leaves, all spice, peppercorns, the rest of the bones and salted legs. Let the alcohol cook out and pour in the stock. Cover with a lid (I used a pressure cooker) and let it cook for about 90 minutes. Strain and reduce to desired thickness. Pick the meat from the bones and put it aside. Season the sauce, add fresh espresso and don’t cook anymore. Thicken with butter.

Put the breasts into a freezer, 20 minutes is enough, we just want the skin to get hard. Cut a grid in the skin, but try not to cut into the meat. Season with five spice, pepper and salt. Put them skin side down in a medium hot pan and let the fat render out, it takes about 8 minutes. Vacuum seal the meat and cook sous vide at 57,2 °C for 60 minutes. Depends on how big the duck is and also on its quality. It happens pretty often that people complain that the meat is tough…there is a tendon going through the middle of the breast that is pretty hard, so you have to cut it properly: if you just cut them in half alongside, you won’t get rid of it).

Let the meat rest for 10 minutes and pan-sear again. You can keep the fat from the pan, it’s amazing for potatoes or as a base of sauces.

Cut the radicchio di Treviso and leave it in cold water. Compared to other chicories, it’s extremely sweet and tasty. Blanch the beans in salted water and cool down in water with ice. Reheat with some butter and quickly steam the spinach on the duck fat.

At the end, prepare the duck vinaigrette. Put everything in a bottle, add salt and shake – duck really needs some sweetness.

Turn the duck breast skin side down and cut about 7 pieces from one. Always try to cut against the fibres. Pour over the sauce, add the veggies and drizzle with vinaigrette. Enjoy!

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