Duck Breast Texture

I made the Duck Breast a la Orange last night and cooked it exactly as per the recipe in the WiFi App. 57.2 C for 3.5 hours. Finished as per instructions but the finished breasts while tasting good had a texture almost identical to liver which in some ways changed the taste in a less than pleasant way unless you like liver.

Any ideas on what might have gone wrong? Maybe did not need 3.5 hours?

Thanjks in adavance for any suggestions and or help!

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I imagine the texture is likely a product of time as I have just recently done breasts for 1h 45min at 57C and was very pleased with it from a texture point of view, not at all like liver, something I’m not a fan of, except as Pate.

I think that you are correct. But, the recipe, in the Anova app called for 3.5 hours! So, that is what I used.

But, when I first got the Anova cooker I prepared a similar duck breast and the time was something around 1.5 or so hours - more in line with what you used. It was excellent as I recall.

The original recipe also came from Anova as I recall - wonder why the app is calling for 2.5 hours now. Perhaps there is a mistake somewhere?

I just did a Google search on the duck - sous vide and most of what I see is around an hour or so but the Anova recipe does call for 3.5 hours.

Strange? Could the Anova recipe be incorrect? I hate to accuse but maybe something is not right?

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Interesting I just found this on You-Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZ4rYn_i7bY

They are using the Anova app that I used and I even see the 3.5 hour recommendation on the Iphone but they only cook under the sous vied for 45 minutes.

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@BerlinDave I will do an experiment with this recipe this week in our kitchen, maybe the wrong time accidentally got added to the recipe on the app, or the consistency wasn’t defined well enough.

Based off of what you and @Craig said, it seems like a shorter cooking time results in a more desirable texture.

Sorry it didn’t turn out how you expected, but I will get back to you with the results of my experiment!

I must admit I have never used the app recipes as I tend to check various recipes and techniques online and use that as a start point. From what I’ve seen 45 mins should be enough, on this occasion I just found one that used 1h 45min and decided to do that as I was doing the leg in a traditional manner with a mirepoix and stock I’d made from the leftovers after breaking down a duck.

The results were the best I’ve had with Duck breast, and worked beautifully in a combination of recipes from Alex Thiebaut & Simon Gueller for an anniversary dinner for my wife. I used the Duck from the Alex Thiebaut recipe with the elements of the Gueller recipe for preference and seasonal availability problems, sensational recipes both.

Hope it works out for you, cheers.


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Wonder if perhaps the time mentioned in the app has been changed at some point? Seems like I made it once before and the time was significantly less than 3.5 hours like it is now showing.

Be interesting to hear what your results are -

Thanks again

David Schaffnit

Have you had a chance to test the recipe? Just wondering because I would like to try another duck breast and want to get the time right.

Thanks again - David Schaffnit

Hi @BerlinDave and others who are interested!

Here are the results of the big duck breast experiment:

Myself and our In-house content Chef @ChefNicole did four variations of time and temp.

  1. 1 duck breast cooked at 55°C/131°F for 1 hour
  2. 1 duck breast cooked at 57.2°C/135°F for 1 hour
  3. 1 duck breast cooked at 55°C/131°F for 3.5 hours
  4. 1 duck breast cooked at 57.2°C/135°F for 3.5 hours

We pre-seared them all, as pictured below, and then when we put them in the bags seasoned them with pepper, salt, cinnamon, smoked paprika, honey, and chipotle (a Chef Nicole original)

Breasts cooking at 55°C/13°F:

Breasts cooking at 57.2°C/135°F:

Cooked Breasts in Bags:

The final product all cooked and seared:

Results: This breast was definitely the chewiest, but still had a lot of good flavor, you cannot cut it with a fork, but it was definitely cooked all the way through

Results: This breast was tender and juicy, less chewy than the 55°C/131°F, you can cut it with a fork, and was my personal favorite texture for only an hour of cooking time.

Results:This breast was the softest and mushiest, with a texture most similar to liver (as you experienced), you can cut it with a fork.

Results: This breast was very tender, and @ChefNicole said it was the most similar to a medium rare texture out off all of them, and you could cut it with a fork.

In summary: we agree that 3.5 hours at the texture definitely gets mushier, but noticeably more so in the breast that was cooked at 55°C/131°F. To our surprise the breast cooked at a slightly higher temp for 3.5 hours, had a great texture, but if you are not a fan of soft, it may not be for you.

Another important conclusion is that an hour is good amount of time to cook the breast, the breast cooked at 57.2°C/135°F for 1 hour turned out really well, and you would only need to go for longer if you really wanted a slightly softer texture.

Chef Nicole also hypothesized that @BerlinDave’s might have come out even mushier because of the orange juice you cooked in in, since the acid in the juice might have broken down the meat even more.

In conclusion, they all came out cooked and tasting good, it is really just a preference of texture when choosing a time/temp combo.

I hope that this is helpful!

P.S. We also made a fall salad with the breasts, a recipe @ChefNicole will be posting in the near future!

Thanks for the information, I really appreciate it. Looks like perhaps I did cook too long for the texture that I was after. I will try for an hour at 57.2 next time. I had also sort of wondered about the possibility of the orange juice changing the texture but it did make for a good taste in the end. At least in my opinion.

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I cook at 58°C for 45 minutes and then fry the skin. I’m not sure why anyone would want to cut a duck breast with a fork. Delicious.

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