Total time: About 45 minutes
Servings: 1 duck breast
Note: Duck provides an excellent example of the virtue of "au point" cooking. With the thinness of the breast, it is a challenge to cook duck to medium-rare without creating a chewy, overdone exterior. Here the meat is uniformly cooked, providing a great textural contrast with the crispy skin.
1 (8-ounce) boneless duck breast, skin on, at room temperature
Prepared water bath
Canola oil, for searing
1. Trim any excess fat and sinew from the duck breast. Using a very sharp knife, lightly score the skin in a crosshatch pattern with lines spaced approximately one-fourth inch apart. Season with a pinch of salt.
2. Set up a work space as per the wrapping instructions above. Carefully fold up the duck breast taking time to ensure that all the air is pushed out of the packet. Repeat and secure the ends with tape. Cook for 35 minutes in a water bath at 140 degrees.
3. Remove from the water and allow the duck to rest for 5 minutes. Remove the breast from the plastic and dry the skin. In a non-stick pan heated over medium heat until hot, add a light film of oil and when the oil is hot but not smoking cook the breast skin-side down to render out some of the fat and crisp the skin. Rest briefly, then slice and serve.
Each duck breast: 344 calories; 42 grams protein; 0 carbohydrate; 0 fiber; 18 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 231 mg cholesterol; 0 sugar; 434 mg sodium.