Sous Vide Duck Legs with Blackberry Sauce

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Disclosure: Sous Vide, who, me? ANOVA Culinary provided me with their Sous Vide Immersion Circulator to create recipes that you may enjoy. I’m breaking down the culinary barriers to help you see why sous vide cooking is pretty darn cool.

Before you run away after reading “sous vide,” read these things:

4 ingredients

Barely any active prep

It tastes amazing.

Okay, so maybe that’s not enough to convince you to go out and buy an ANOVA Sous Vide Immersion Circulator, but if you have the urge to up your culinary skills, this recipe and technology is for you.

Sous Vide Duck Legs with Blackberry Sauce

Sous vide is a method of cooking in which foods (typically meats) are cooked in a water bath at the exact temperature you want your food cooked to. No chance of overcooking as long as you set the right temperature.

I created a step-by-step post on cooking steaks with the ANOVA Sous Vide Immersion Circulator – please go there to read about how it works, what tools you need and the benefits of this cooking process. All of the steps apply to cooking duck legs, except for the change in temperature and time, which is listed below in the recipe.

I have never cooked duck before, but I’ve eaten it several times. The first was when John’s brother smoked a duck at Christmas. It was delicious, and I knew I had to make duck again soon. I decided to use the immersion circulator because I had a fear of overcooking the expensive duck legs ($14.99) and I knew that it would not be possible to overcook it if I used the sous vide method.

The most difficult part of this whole cooking process was Frenching the duck legs, i.e., taking the fat and skin off of the legs to give it a more refined look. Skip it if you want.

Sous Vide Duck Legs with Blackberry Sauce

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 duck legs, Frenched
  • Salt, pepper and paprika
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic)

French the duck legs if you choose to, and lightly season them with salt, pepper and paprika. Place the duck legs into vacuum seal bags and seal (one leg in each bag).

Set the ANOVA Sous Vide Immersion Circulator on a large stock pot and secure. Fill the pot with cold water past the minimum fill line on the circulator.

Set the circulator to 57.2 degrees Celsius (135 degrees Fahrenheit). Let the water reach that temperature, then place the sealed bags in the water. Cook for at least 45 minutes or up to 4 hours (I took this cue from Serious Eats). Mine cooked for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to broil. Remove the bags from the circulator. Take the duck legs out of the bags and place in an iron skillet. Broil for 8-10 minutes or until duck fat has rendered. You can also render the fat in the skillet on the stove, but my duck legs were very round and placing them in the oven helped render the fat that wasn’t sitting on the iron skillet.

While the fat is rendering, prepare the blackberry sauce. In a small skillet, stir the blackberries and pomegranate balsamic vinegar  together. Heat to boiling, stirring for 2-3 minutes or until blackberries have softened and sauce has reduced slightly. Plate the duck legs and pour as much or as little of the sauce on top as you like.

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