Sous vide is an groundbreaking technology that has, in many cases, afforded cooks the same precision, reliability, and reproducibility of biological lab techniques. Nevertheless, adequately searing meat after it was been cooked sous vide is still a major obstacle. What good is a ribeye that comes out of the bag perfectly pink from end to end, if it is still necessary to overcook 2-3 cm of meat on both sides during a cast iron sear? In this sense, duck breast is very amenable to sous vide because crisping the skin after a water bath immersion can be done without overcooking the meat, thanks to the insulating properties of the skin. While this is a recipe for a puff pastry tart, the highlight here is the duck, and duck can be enjoyed in any way that you wish so far as it’s properly cooked.
TARTLETTE // SOUS VIDE DUCK BREAST + POACHED PERSIMMON
- 2 skin-on, boneless duck breasts
- 2 persimmons
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 sheets of puff pastry
Vacuum seal and immerse duck breasts in a 135F water bath for 45 min.
In a skillet, create a simple syrup by whisking 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water under medium heat, and poach thinly sliced persimmons until soft, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, roll out puff pastries to desired size and bake until golden brown according to the package instructions.
In a hot cast iron skillet, crisp the breasts skin-side down until browned, about 6-8 minutes. Pricking the skin with a knife beforehand and periodically draining off the fat from the skillet will help to make a crispy skin. The fat can be reserved for other cooking projects.
After allowing the duck breasts to rest for a few minutes, season with salt & pepper, slice into strips, and arrange pastries with a garnish of coarsely chopped basil.