Sous Vide Duck Breast Taco


How about something easy?  This is about as easy as it gets, and it is one of the most popular meals in our house: Sous Vide Duck Breast.  It does take some special equipment: a vacuum sealer and sous vide machine.  Is it worth it?  YES.

You can use any type of duck breast for this.  I am a big fan of Hudson Valley Fois Gras as a source for duck meat, but any duck will do.  Find a source you like.  They normally come as 4 pieces per pack frozen.  I try to keep some in the freezer at all times.

To prepare, lay the breasts out on a plate and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt.  Next, liberally rub with Asian Five Spice powder. Making your own with freshly toasted whole spices is the best, but you can use fresh pre-made powder, too.

Five Spice Powder

1T ground Saigon cinnamon
5 whole star anise
1t fennel seed
2t Sichuan peppercorns
1/4t ground cloves

Mix the spices together and use a spice mill to grind very finely. I use a dedicated cheap coffee grinder as a spice mill for stuff like this.

Seal two breasts per pouch.  I have the VacMaster VP112 model chamber vac.  Get the sous vide heating to 135F.  Once it is up to temp, drop in the sealed pouches of rubbed duck, and let it go for at least 2 hours. I use the Anova Precision Cooker. Plenty of other good cookers out there, too.

Remove the duck from the pouches.  The duck is fully cooked; it just needs to be seared.  Heat a cast iron skillet to searing temperature.  Score the fatty side of the duck (skin).  Place the duck skin side down in the pan.  Sear until fat is rendered and the skin is brown and crispy.  Flip the duck to sear the meaty side.  Remove from pan (reserve rendered fat for tomorrow morning’s breakfast potatoes).  Rest the meat and then slice ¼ to ½ thick.


Place a few slices of duck on a warmed taco size flour tortilla.  Drizzle with hoisin sauce and garnish with some julienne spring onions and lettuce.

To make this even more special, you can make your own duck fat tortillas.

Duck Fat Flour Tortillas

4 cups low protein flour (all purpose will work, too)
2t baking powder
1t salt
2T duck fat
1-1/2 cups hot water

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl to mix completely. Measure the duck fat into the bowl. Use your thumbs and fore fingers to mix the fat into the flour mixture until you cannot see any signs of the fat.

Add the hot water and blend in with a fork or pastry blender. Finish kneading just a bit by hand, only until the dough is uniformly mixed.

Divide the dough into about 15 evenly sized balls. They will be just larger than a golf ball. Cover with a moist towel for 30 minutes. Press the balls using a tortilla press and cook on a hot griddle until they have brown spots and are fluffy. Stack in a tortilla warmer to keep them ready for tacos.


I have an electric tortilla press that is great for flour tortillas. (Not great for masa tortillas though.)


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