Pan-Seared Duck Breast with Pomegranate Dressing


Take some of the uncertainty out of cooking perfect duck breasts with the sous vide method. Then dress your field salad up in pomegranate seeds and let the duck be the star of this simple plate. The tartness of the pomegranate dressing complements the rich flavor of the duck and crispy texture of the skin. This is a sample recipe from my new cookbook Mastering the Art of Sous Vide Cooking, Page Street Publishing

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2 duck breasts, about 6 oz
(170 g) each
Kosher salt
Ground pepper
1 tbsp (10 g) dried garlic flakes
3 sprigs fresh thyme, divided
6 cups (200 g) salad greens
2 tbsp (20 g) red onion, thinly
¼ cup (60 ml) pomegranate
Juice of ½ lemon
Juice of 1 navel orange
2 tsp (10 ml) honey
1 small shallot, finely minced
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
¾ cup (180 ml) olive oil
1 tbsp (15 ml) grapeseed oil
3 tbsp (32 g) pomegranate seeds,
for garnish
2 tbsp (12 g) green onion, thinly
sliced, for garnish

Preheat the water bath to 134°F (56.6°C). While the water is heating, score the duck breasts on the skin/fat side using a small sharp knife. Slice the skin and fat off the breasts in a crosshatch or diamond pattern at a 45-degree angle without cutting into the meat, about ½ inch (13 mm) apart. Season the duck with salt and pepper. Put the garlic flakes and 2 sprigs of thyme in a bag, add the seasoned duck breasts, then vacuum seal. Place in the water bath for a minimum of 2 hours (4 hours maximum). While the duck is cooking, toss together the salad greens and red onion, then cover and refrigerate. Place the pomegranate juice, lemon juice, orange juice, honey, shallot, garlic and remaining sprig of thyme into a blender and process until the mixture is well combined. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the mixture as it blends. Taste before adding salt and pepper, then blend for another 15 to 20 seconds. Transfer to a closed container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow flavors to incorporate.

To complete the dish, carefully remove the vacuum bag from the hot water, take the duck breasts out of the bag and pat them dry with paper towels. Heat up a cast-iron skillet over high heat and add the grapeseed oil. When the oil gets hot and begins to shimmer, add the duck, skin side down. Only sear the skin side to crisp the skin; the fatty barrier will insulate against the meat cooking any further (do not sear the meat side or you risk overcooking the duck). Sear for 4 to 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow the duck to rest 5 minutes before slicing.Add the salad to the plates, drizzle with dressing and garnish with pomegranate seeds and green onions. Top with the sliced duck breast and serve.


About Chef Justice Stewart

I am a former construction worker turned chef from NYC that will educate the average cook on how to prepare restaurant quality meals. Please Subscribe to this blog to enjoy some wonderful recipes and tips.

Posted on January 1, 2019, in Poultry, sous vide and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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