Sous Vide Duck Breast with Braised Leeks & Mashed Potatoes
This sous vide duck breast recipe cooks duck to juicy, tender perfection every time. Served with fluffy garlic mashed potatoes and braised leeks simmered in thyme and white wine, you’ll feel like a gourmet chef when you give this recipe a try (but it’s simple and fun, I promise).
Duck breast may seem like an elaborate, sophisticated dish you’d only make on special occasions. But trust me when I say it’s a piece of cake to cook it when you’ve got a sous vide machine and the desire to whip up something other than a turkey breast, pot roast, or slow-cooker chicken breast for an American-style Sunday night dinner.
Cooking duck breast can go one of two ways: it can turn out uncomfortably chewy and dry or melt-in-your-mouth tender, juicy, and crispy on the outside. Of course, we’re going for the latter, and that’s why I recommend cooking duck breasts sous vide for this recipe: it’s a foolproof way to cook duck breast to perfection every time. (I personally use the Anova sous vide).
This sous vide duck breast recipe pairs perfectly with garlic mashed potatoes and my signature braised leeks, with one slight modification. Instead of using homemade chicken bone broth that the original recipe calls for, I used the leftover juice from the duck breasts. Personally, I think it took the flavor factor to the next level (and it’s one less ingredient you have to worry about).
Interested in more sous vide recipes? Check out all the sous vide meals here.
Juicy sous vide duck breast served with fluffy garlic mashed potatoes and braised leeks simmered in a white wine sauce. This date-night dinner is on point!
For the sous vide duck breasts:
- 2 boneless duck breasts, skin on
- 4–5 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 large cloves garlic
- Salt as needed
- Ground black pepper as needed
For the mashed potatoes:
- 1 pound Yukon potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the braised leeks:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Sea salt
- 4 large leeks, white and light green parts only, root ends trimmed, halved lengthwise and rinsed thoroughly
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup reserved duck juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat a water bath to 144°F for medium or 136°F for medium rare using Anova immersion circulator.
- Rinse duck breasts and pat dry with paper towels. Place on a cutting board, skin side up. Use a sharp knife, score the skin with even strokes. Don’t cut through the meat.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat and pre-sear the skin side for 2-3 minutes. No need to add any oil. The duck breasts will produce enough fat.
- Add thyme and garlic into the skillet, flip the breasts, sear the meat side for another minute. Let the fresh thyme and garlic toast in the duck fat at the same time.
- Once the duck is pre-seared, turn off the heat and transfer the duck breasts to the cutting board. Season generously with salt and ground black pepper.
- Place the prepared duck breasts into a sous vide bag, toss the thyme and garlic into the bag. Vacuum seal it using a vacuum sealer or a hand pump and lower the bag into the water bath. Set timer for 1.5 hours.
- In the meantime, make mashed potatoes. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes; drain.
- In a small saucepan, heat butter and milk over low heat until butter is melted. Slowly add milk mixture into potatoes and mash until smooth and creamy. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- In the same skillet that you used to sear the duck breasts, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt evenly over the bottom of the skillet.
- When sous vide cooking is done, remove the cooked duck breasts from the bag and reserve the duck juice.
- Sear the skin side in the same skillet over high heat until the duck skin is golden brown. Transfer to a clean cutting board.
- Still using the same skillet (no need to wash), gently place leeks into the skillet in a single layer, cut side down. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, shaking the skillet occasionally until the cut side of the leeks is golden brown. If your leeks brown too quickly, adjust the heat.
- Now, add wine, reserved duck juice, and fresh thyme. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the leeks are tender and translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Gently transfer the leeks to two serving plates evenly, leaving the liquid in the skillet. Cover the leeks with foil and set aside.
- Return the liquid to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter and lemon juice in the skillet. Once the butter is melted, stir and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, slice the duck breasts along the scores in the skin and place on the serving plates with the leeks. Scoop some mashed potatoes to put on the side. Pour the leek cooking liquid over and enjoy!
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 386
- Sugar: 11.8g
- Sodium: 472mg
- Fat: 14.3g
- Saturated Fat: 6.3g
- Carbohydrates: 40.8g
- Fiber: 5.2g
- Protein: 20.9g
- Cholesterol: 102mg
Keywords: sous vide duck breast
About the Author
Sharon Chen is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, an author and a sous vide fanatic who believes food not only brings healing but also connection. As the creator of StreetSmart Kitchen, she's on a mission to help you find balance, ease, joy, and simplicity in the kitchen as you improve your well-being.