• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

  • product-image-quickten.png.a40203b506711f7664fc62024e54a584.pngDid you know that these all-volunteer forums are operated by the 501(c)3 not-for-profit Society for Culinary Arts & Letters? This holiday season, consider a tax-deductible Quick Ten Bucks to support the eG Forums and help us remain completely advertising-free. Thanks to all those who have donated so far!

mercury529

Sous Vide Duck

31 posts in this topic

Hello All,

I am newly registered on the forum, though I have read a lot of material from the forum. It is a wealth of information and knowledge, so I thought I'd reach out.

I recently purchased an immersion circulator, so I am learning about sous vide techniques. I have decided to tackle duck sous vide. Before I had my immersion circulator, I followed Alton Brown's method for preparing duck (quarter, brine, steam, and sear). My favorite part of the technique was the significant amount of duck fat that rendered into the steaming vessel for other uses. Without any research, my inclination would be to brine and steam the duck quarters, sous vide cook to desired internal temperature, and crisp the skin in a blazing hot pan or via blowtorch.

When I researched duck sous vide, I could not find any recipes that included the steaming step and very few with a pre-sous vide rendering step. So I had a few questions:

1.) Would duck quarters cooked sous vide benefit from a steaming step to render out some of the excess fat?

2.) Do duck quarters cooked sous vide, without a pre-sous vide rendering step, still allow for you to gather and save the rendered fat for later use?

3.) Is there a good technique for cooking a quartered duck in a single water bath for a single meal?

Thanks a lot for any input you can give.


Edited by mercury529 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't address a lot of your questions, except the last:

the dark meat is cooked at a higher temp then the breast.

by 1/4 I assume you mean 2 breasts, two leg/thigh units.

If you want all this 'ready' at the same time, you need to do the legs first at a longer and higher temp, then the breasts at a lower temp for less time

or do them in advance, as you like each, rapid chill, keep in the coldest part of the refrig until needed, then re-heat at the lower temp for the breast.

If you are skillful skin the duck, save the skin and finish the skin in the oven between two (non-stick) sheets and a second jelly roll pan on to to crispy. save that fat

for the carcass, render the fat in the traditional way. there will be very little fat on the BR. and the LG/Thigh

hope this points you in the right direction.

consider the book by Baldwin "Sous vide for the home cook' worth it.

best of luck!

we ( I ) love to see pics of your experiments!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"-------If you are skillful skin the duck, save the skin and finish the skin in the oven between two (non-stick) sheets and a second jelly roll pan on to to crispy. save that fat-----"

No, you don't need skill, you need compressed air. :cool:

Me, skinning a duck.

dcarch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeD4O7EDGFk


Edited by dcarch (log)
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

all-righty then: taking the duck down to the Home Workshop !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think there is a need to do a steaming step, but if you get successful results with it let me know. It may be beneficial for the brests as they are cooked at a much lower temp than the legs (I usually do the brests in a pan).

You will get some rendered fat in the bag but it will certainly carry the flavor of the meat and the seasonsings.

My recommendation is to save as much of the skin and fat from the rest of the duck when you break it down.

Run that reserved fat/skin and through a grinder and then put the ground mixutre in a bag and sous vide that for an hour at 180F.

Strain out the hot liquid into a container and let it cool a bit, you can then put it in the fridge to solidify the fat.

You'll have a layer of geletain under the fat that can be used in soups/sauces. You should seperate the duck fat from from the geletain as the geletain will spoil in about a week but the fat will last a very long time.


Edited by Michael L. (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks a lot for the responses.

Now that I think about, the sous vide provides the perfect opportunity to compare techniques. I could steam one half of the bird not steam the other half and cook in the same water bath (ensuring a controlled cooking comparison pre-sear). And if I sear in the same pan, I should get a fairly controlled result for comparison. I'll share what I find.

rotuts: Good suggestions for crisping up the skin and rendering. I'll look into Baldwin's book. I am not a picture-takey person by nature. But maybe if I convince myself it's for science, I can be :)

dcarch: What compelled you to even attempt that in the first place, haha?

Michael: I'd never heard about that grinder technique. That sounds like it might be considerably easier than the steaming method for rendering fat (no worrying about water content or burning the fat). Is that your favorite approach for rendering duck/goose fat now? I assume after separating the gelatin, can you add it in with the remainder of the carcass to make a good stock?


Edited by mercury529 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if you dont have a grinder, and do have a food processor : save all the skin / fat ( scrape it from the carcass everywhere )

then cut into fairs sized chunks, put in the freezer on a sheet pan until very firm , then pulse a few times in the processor,

rechill and do this a few times. it breaks up the tissue so then the fat can be rendered either by SV at 180 or in a pan on the stove top or a pan w lid in the oven.

if you do it the pan way, after the water boils out, heat the mash carefully to the sizzle point and you get Crispy Skin Chips

season w salt while hot and devour ! these are best not shared ! :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shades of Eileen Lin Fi Low (I'm not sure I have her name correct; she is/was married to Fred Ferretti, who wrote for Gourmet magazine, years ago) and her bicycle pump!


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The grinder technique is from Thomas Keller's Under Pressure cook book. I find it's the easiest way to render the fat and provides a better yield than just putting the skin in the bag. I've heard of people rendering the fat in a microwave, but I haven't tried it myself.

The geltain is great for stock or sauces to add some flavor and texture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure the grinding method produces the highest yield, but it's not necessary to render most of the fat. I'd say one can get about 90% of it by simply dicing the skin and cooking in a small pot on the stove. That's based on preparing duck skin cracklings long before I'd heard of sous vide. Admittedly cracklings are a bit fiddly, but if one is only after the fat a covered pot will work fine and is much easier. Whereas sous vide for the skin from a duck or two seems like overkill to me. (Keller presumably is generally working with much larger quantities.) For that matter, with legs, sous vide cooking itself renders about 80% of the fat with no special treatment of the skin as such. It's mostly the breast we're talking about here.

Note that grind vs. dice and stovetop vs. sous vide are separate issues. One could do either of A with either of B.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

pbear: Absolutely, there are many ways to render fat. For me, the sous vide is pretty easy, I'm probably going to cook the duck legs in the water bath anyway. The main benefit is that once the skin is in the water bath it doesn't really need tending to. Grinding it on the other hand is a bit of a pain because of the cleanup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of good discussion here.

Michael, any thoughts on whether you could remove the bag of fat/gelatin after sous vide, chill it, and freeze it from there for a later use? I often don't have immediate use for what I render and wouldn't mind being able to store it in the same bag.

Have you tried freezing the skin beforehand to firm it in up in the grinder? Maybe that would help with the cleaning aspect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think freezing the skin beforehand will have any negative inpact on rendering the fat. The water bath will bring it up to temperature pretty quickly.

Freezing the whole bag post rendering may be a problem, I'm not sure how easy it will be to seperate frozen geletain and frozen fat. Seperating the two once they have solidifed in the fridge is pretty easy. As long as the fat isn't tained (i.e. you left some geletain in the container) it will last in your fridge for at least a month or more.

One word of caution when taking the rendered fat out of the water bath. The fat is extremely hot and if your bag isn't sealed well (which sometimes happens when vacuum sealing moist items) you can get burned and make a mess. Always be careful removing a bag from the hot water bath.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I'm using the fat for savory purposes, this is what I'll do:

Get a big pot of water boiling (this water is later used to make duck stock)

blanch the deboned trimmings in the water for 1 - 2 minutes until all the pink is gone and the fat feels firm to the touch

remove with a spider, let drain briefly, then put in a food processor

pulse quickly 5 or 6 times until fat is broken up into small chunks

put into a non-stick saucepan over high heat, stirring frequently until you start hearing the sounds of frying

adjust heat so fat stays at between 250F and 300F until bubbling stops completely

drain fat through a sieve into a measuring cup & let cool to room temperature

The fat will form two distinct layers, a solid and liquid layer (possibly with some brown sludge at the bottom)

Carefully decant the liquid layer into a bottle with a pour spout and use for general cooking, pour out the solid layer into a mason jar or other container and use for deep frying

I basically use duck fat in place of vegetable oil when I'm cooking and, when I run out, I buy two more whole ducks to process.

SV is great if you want to get a cleaner, unheated fat for baking but, IMHO, adding in the slightly roasty flavors from browning works better for savory applications. Go much above 300 and you start breaking down the fat too much and it doesn't respond as well to high heat cooking.


PS: I am a guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're just looking for fat (and not cracklings) I'd like to suggest nathanm's idea of the "fat shake". Rough chop the fat/skin and put in a blender, covering with water. Blend until completely liquified then pour into an SV bag or you can do covered on the stovetop. Makes the most yield I've ever seen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

blender is a good idea.

clean up a bit easier w hotwater/soap/wizzzzz.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I often stop at a Chinese BBQ on my way home from the Men's Mission where I work on Fridays. I noticed one day that someone was buying duck fat from them - for $1/lb. This is the globs of fat that the mom in the restaurant pulls out of the cavities of the ducks before they roast them.

For the last couple of weeks I've stopped in a brought a bit home to render down.

IMG_0954.jpg

I put it in this stainless container, then pop that into the pressure cooker for a couple of hours.

IMG_0956.jpg

When it cools sufficiently I pour off the fat and juices.

Then upside down in the fridge in a jar with relatively straight sides so I can open them and pour off the jelly from the top.

IMG_0957.jpg

I don't bother to make the fat milkshake in the thermomix anymore - don't think I ever got all the tissue out of the blade I had to retire recently. I might be able to get a little more fat out if I did - but I'm not convinced the extra work is worth it.

And even better - they haven't charged me a penny for the fat I've gotten from them. I suspect it's because I'm a pretty regular customer there.


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

""" upside down in the fridge in a jar with relatively straight sides so I can open them and pour off the jelly from the top. """

brilliant.

my emphasis.

Brilliant.

:biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

""" upside down in the fridge in a jar with relatively straight sides so I can open them and pour off the jelly from the top. """

brilliant.

my emphasis.

Brilliant.

:biggrin:

It really does work amazingly well... after the confit cookoff, I had a few bunch of fat and stock after it was all said and done. I just put it into pint containers and let it chill upside down, and the disks of perfect clear stock lifted right off easily!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Everyone,

Thanks again for all the input. I wanted to update everyone on the results. I took pictures but they frankly are not terribly illuminating so they won't bring anything to the table.

So for my experiment I quartered a duck into 2 breast quarters and 2 leg quarters and scored the skin. I brined the duck for 3 hours. I then removed the quarters from the brine and patted them dry. I placed 1 leg quarter and 1 duck breast directly into a vacuum bag (individually sealed). I placed the remaining 2 quarters into a colander and steamed them for approximately an hour. After that was complete, I sealed both in vacuum bags. I prepared the duck breast the same day and saved the legs for the next day.

For the duck breasts, I followed the Serious Eats method. I set the temperature to 135 F and placed the duck breasts in for 1 hour. I removed both from their packaging directly into a cold All Clad Saute Pan skin side down. I turned the heat to high until it sizzled. I dropped the heat to medium and rendered out as much of the fat as I could. I removed the breasts to a paper towel-lined plate and rested them for 10 minutes. The fat rendered out more completely from the steamed duck breast and resulted in a slightly crispier skin. The steamed duck breast may have been slightly drier near the ends as a result of the steaming. The results for the duck legs were much the same (the same method but 167 F for 12 hours). Both the breasts and legs came out very flavorful, nicely seasoned, and at a great doneness. It was undoubtedly the best duck I have ever made. Even with a mediocre frozen grocery store duck which I got for $1 per pound, it was better than most of what I have had in restaurants.

While the steaming method yielded better results for the skin, I don't feel it was frankly worth the extra effort. But I am glad I did the experiment. The next time, I will try removing the skin and crisping it separately as suggested previously. I think that will frankly yield a more desirable result.

Thanks again for all the input.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Host's note:  this post and several following it were moved from the "Cooking burgers sous vide" topic.

 

 

 

i have not done duck breasts SV yet.   i do have a duck resting in the freezer, at some point Im going to do the two trimmed 

 

 

I've not found a way to get the best of both worlds without separating the meat from the skin. There are topics on eG about this. The meat comes out great, but gets overcooked during the rendering process. I haven't yet tried undercooking the breast SV then rendering. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ill look that thread over

 

Id take off the skin and cook that via a pan sear. for the breasts   not the legs  confit


Edited by rotuts (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ill look that thread over

 

Id take off the skin and cook that via a pan sear. for the breasts   not the legs  confit

Ah, if you're planning to do them separate, you're golden. Just be ready for the skin to curl and warp. I hear a panini press is aces for this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Franzisaurus_Rex
      FOOD BRETHREN!
      I need some advice. I have one last piece of pork belly confit in the fridge. I brined these bitches for about 5 days (brine included pink curing salt), vacuum sealed the squares of pork belly with lard and sous vide them at 158 F for 16 hours. I cooked this on 11/10/16 and its been in my refrigerator since. 
      Here is the general recipe I followed, with some modifications based on my taste: https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/...
      The last piece is still vacuum sealed and submerged (mostly) in lard. Any visible pork only has contact with the bag. 
      It's staring at me. And calling my name.
      I want to deep fry this sucker and have a little date night with the handsome devil I see in the mirror every morning, but the last thing I want is spoiled food. I can't find any conclusive information about how long pork confit lasts for. I've only seen references that duck confit or in general that the confit technique will last for months in the fridge. I have found no sources which directly addresses pork confit.
      Questions/Factors I'm Considering:
      - Does pork confit keep for as long as duck confit?
      - Does vacuum sealing have any effect on the length of preservation?
      - Does sous-vide cooking method affect the length of preservation?
      I know I am probably being a bit paranoid, but I thought I would do my due diligence before taking the plunge, so to speak. Any advice on these questions would be extremely helpful and appreciated!
      The Franzisaurus-Rex
      PS - you should totally make this if you are into sous vide, confit, food, or have any respect for the enjoyment of life. Flash-searing these things after cooking was OUT OF THIS WORLD.
    • By JoNorvelleWalker
      The NY Times has a current article in the science section "A Universe of Bubbles in Every Champagne Bottle".
       
      The article asserts that it is better to serve Champagne at warmer than refrigerator temperatures so that the bubbles are larger and convey more flavor.  Also to serve in a narrow glass.
       
      However Gerard Liger-Belair (who is referenced as an authority in the Times article) points out in his book Uncorked (forward by Herve This) that the colder the wine the more viscous and the more dissolved CO2.  Liger-Belair also prefers a goblet to a flute.  I bought Uncorked after reading about it in Liquid Intelligence from Dave Arnold.
       
      Discuss.
       
    • By weedy
      I made a Gellan based fluid gel that I think is 'too thick'.
      (One could say, I'd like more fluid and less gel!)
       
      Anyone know what the best way, if any?,there is to thin it so I can squeeze bottle it? at the moment it's spoonable but way thick.
       
      Could I add water and blender it again?
      or is there another idea?
       
      thanks in advance.
       
       
    • By Gary Burns
      Hello,
       
      This is my first post here -- apologies if I'm making any mistakes on protocol -- I have spent some time checking prior posts but this seemed the best place to jump in.
       
      I have a 13lb skin-on, loin attached pork belly I'm going to cook for Christmas dinner. Coincidentally I also have an Anova sous vide circulation heater and a new plastic tub with a lid.
       
      The recipes I've saw mostly call for seasoning, a water bath for 36 hours and then a deep or pan fry to crisp. Now I have the setup, and look at the combination of the roast and the container I realize I have some questions about what I'm doing -- I've attached a picture below of what we're starting off with. 
       
      Here are those questions:
       
      The fit seems a little tight to me -- is the container size fine? I was planning on seasoning, tying and double bagging it in large ziploc bringing bags ( water displacement, no vacuum sealer ). I've convinced myself the ziplock method is fine, but is standing the meat vertically in a space close to it's dimension for a 36 hour cook ok? After the 36 hours in water, it is Ok to refrigerate? The main recipe I've been using as a base calls for removing it, shocking it and then removing the liquids for sauce before deep frying -- would it be ok to shock, refrigerate for several hours, then bring to temperature in the bath again before proceeding with browning/bringing to temp? If this isn't a bad idea, how long would you keep in the water bath after refrigeration? Deep frying vs. a quick hot oven? I'll rub baking soda on this, and I'll fry if need be -- but does anyone have experience or thoughts on whether you'd be defeating the purpose of using sous vide in the first place if you just used a suitably hot oven to crisp the skin after cooking sous vide and drying the skin beforehand? I'd prefer not to to do an inside stove top fry for something this large right before dinner if it wasn't sacrificing too much.    
      Thanks for any help, would also be great to hear any other useful advice from anyone that's went through a similar process.
       
      Gary
       

    • By pmilas
      HI guys,
       
      I'm here for a bit of advice. We are building a house (in Croatia, Europe), and finally have a chance to build a kitchen as i want it
      We would like to get a professional combi oven, something like this new Rational (a bit pricey) or this UNOX (better price) so that we have a long term solution for our needs.
      The reason we are going for the professional oven is that, for example UNOX, is cheaper than "home combi ovens" from brands like Miele, Gaggenau, etc. and are much better than those.
       
      Does anyone have any experience with pro combis at home? i have only seen a couple of people, at least on the internet, that have them at home. I guess that setup would not be a problem, because we designed a water inlet and outlet for the oven, and the voltage is OK. is there anything we didnt think of? Will that oven have higher maintananace cost, even if its used only couple of days a week?
       
      Thanks for help
       
      P
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.