I made sous vide duck legs with pomegranate, ginger, and sichuan peppers today. Here’s a recipe I made up based on ideas from a few different sources.
This started with two duck thighs and drum sticks, approximately 1-1/2lbs.
- 1 quart water
- 3 tbsp coarse kosher salt (4 tbsp if using Diamond Crystal kosher salt, 2 tbsp if using iodine-free table salt)
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 3/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1-2 tbsp duck fat (optional)
- 1/2 shallot, finely diced
- 1tsp fresh ginger, finely diced OR 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tsp ground Sichuan pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt (I used Himalayan pink salt)
If you have a Quick Marinator accessory and a FoodSaver, you can:
- Run the “Marinate” cycle with the Quick Marinator in the “Marinate/Open” position. The applicance will repeatedly cycle by vacuuming, holding, and releasing the vacuum to quickly marinate the meat.
- For FoodSavers without a “Marinate” cycle, run the “Accessory” cycle with the Quick Marinator in the “Vacuum” position and leave the meat in the refrigerator to brine for another 20 minutes.
If you do not have a FoodSaver or Quick Marinator accessory, simply allow the duck legs to brine, covered, for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
Remove the duck legs from the brine. Most recipes call for rinsing the brine, I chose not to. I also reserved the thyme from the brine and carried it over. Add a few tablespoons of duck fat (if you like) and vacuum seal the duck legs in pouches with the cooking marinade. The small amount of liquid in the marinade didn’t interfere with the vacuum-sealing process.
You can then confit the duck legs at 180F/82C for 8 hours (timing per Thomas Keller), or at 140F/60C for 2-6 hours for a “medium rare” preparation (my choice given I am already cooking some lamb ribs at 60C for 48 hours).
Once out of the sous vide, cut the bag and save the liquid for cooking greens in. Sear the duck legs, ideally with a blow torch in a cast or enameled iron skillet. Yum!
This turned out delicious! Give it a shot if you like and let me know if and how you improved upon it. 🙂