Festive Spice Sous Vide Duck Breast With Ultracrispy Skin And Cassis Jus

The Barbary duck is thin-skinned, low in fat and has deep red, mildly gamey meat. Coupled with aromatics of orange zest, crushed fennel seeds, cloves, thyme and ginger, it is a dish that will have your guests clamouring for more.


Serves 4

Prep time 1.5 hours

Cook time 40 minutes

Butternut squash purée

250g butternut squash, skinned and diced

30ml olive oil

25g orange blossom honey (available from iherb.com)

30g butter

2g orange skin, grated

a pinch of ground cinnamon

salt and pepper, to taste

» In a bowl, combine butternut squash, olive oil and honey. Toss well.

» Bake the tossed butternut squash in a preheated oven at 180°C for 30 minutes.

» Place baked butternut in a food processor and blend until smooth.

» Gradually add butter, grated orange skin, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Set aside.

Duck Cassis Jus

 30g shallots, diced

100ml port wine

100ml red wine

600ml duck stock

50g black currants

50ml crème de cassis

salt, to taste

» In a medium saucepan, add shallots, port wine and bring them to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

» Add red wine and continue to simmer until you achieve a glaze consistency.

» Add duck stock and black currants. Cook for 30 minutes.

» Strain the sauce mixture through a fine sieve in a smaller saucepan. Over low heat, simmer the sauce until a jus-like consistency is reached. Add cassis and cook until the jus reduction sticks to the back of the spoon.


2 Barbary duck breast, 220g each

a pinch of salt and pepper

20g orange zest

10 fennel seeds, crushed

8 cloves

6 sprigs of fresh thyme

20g ginger, sliced

» Score the fat of the duck breasts in a crosshatch pattern. Place the duck breasts on a hot metal skillet and sear for two minutes on each side.

» Season the seared duck breasts with salt and pepper, and place it in a zip-lock bag. Add orange zest, fennel seeds, cloves, thyme, and ginger to the bag. 

» Place the zip-lock bag in a preheated water bath and sous-vide at 56°C for 1.5 hours.

» Place the duck breats on a hot iron pan and sear for 30 seconds on each side. 

Poached Pear

250ml white wine

2 cloves

4 baby pears

» In a small pot, pour the white wine and bring it to a simmer. Add the cloves and the pears in and cook it until the pear turns tender. Strain the pear. Set aside.


120g Romanesco broccoli, trimmed into florets

15g shallots, diced

2 large banana shallots, lightly roasted

20g crème fraîche

15g Amaranth flower (available from farmdelight.com.sg)

» Blanch Romanesco broccoli in salted boiling water until tender and cooked. Sauté shallots in a small pan until translucent. Add Romanesco broccoli and sauté for another minute.

» Place one slice of the duck breast on each plate. Arrange one half of the roasted banana shallots cup next to the duck and pour equal amounts of duck cassis jus into the banana shallot. Add sautéed Romanesco broccoli, poached pear and butternut squash purée to the plate and dots of crème fraîche.

» Garnish the duck breasts with fresh thyme and amaranth flower.


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