Home Lifestyle Recipes RECIPE: Slow cooked crispy wild duck breast

RECIPE: Slow cooked crispy wild duck breast

Cook Paul Hlaisi creates a flavour symphony with duck breast fillets


Here’s a treat for those of you who are health consciousPaul Hlaisi makes a juicy, flavourful wild duck breast that will have your taste buds begging for more. When the rich, dark meat is cooked properly by rendering the fat underneath the duck skin, this will turn into a very tasty layer of crispy skin with minimal fat left 

Hlaisi makes this recipe with his sous vide machine, a cooking method that utilises precise temperature control. But you can also do this without a vacuum sealer and sous vide machine – just dust off your thermometer. 

READ: Cook makes harmonies in the kitchen


3 large duck breasts with skin on 

3 garlic cloves 

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1 big knob of ginger (5cm) 

1 tsp salt 

1 tbs light soy sauce 

1 tbs honey 

1 tbs Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry 

1 tsp Chinese 5 spice 

1 tsp cha siu sauce (optional) 

Small dash of flavourless oil (peanut, canola, etc)  



  • Finely chop ginger and garlic. 
  • Mix all the marinade ingredients together.

Method 1 – using vacuum packaging and sous vide machines 

  • Make 2 bags with your vacuum packaging equipment if you have bags in a roll. Cut 10 cm longer than the length of the longest breast. Seal a side. 
  • Pour the marinade in each bag making sure you don’t touch or dirty the top of the bag where it will be sealed. 
  • Insert two breasts in one bag and one breast in the remaining bag. (Again – be careful not to touch the inside top of the bags). 
  • Make a vacuum using your machine as indicated on the manual. 
  • Rinse the container of the sous-vide machine in very hot tap water. Fill it with warm water to make sure it reaches 54°C quickly. Once the temperature has been reached, cook for an hour. 
  • Now caramelise the fat as described below. 

Method 2: Stovetop sous vide 

  • Place the marinated duck breast in a vacuum seal bag and leave it open. 
  • Insert the bag in water so it pushes the air out. Once the air is out, zip the bag.  
  • Using a thermometer, set your temp to 55°c. Cook the duck breast for 1 hour. 
  • Now caramelise the fat as described below. 

Caramelising the duck fat 

  • Put a mini dash of oil in a non-stick pan. Heat on medium. 
  • Pull the bags out and place them in the sink. Cut them open and, using kitchen tongs, place the breasts in a plate. 
  • Place breasts in the pan skin down. Melt the skin fat, caramelising it without burning it. When it’s nice and golden, turn them upside down and leave them for 1 minute. 
  • Serve and enjoy. 

READ: Cook makes harmonies in the kitchen


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Noluthando Ngcakani
Noluthando Ngcakani
With roots in the Northern Cape, this Kimberley Diamond has had a passion for telling human interest stories since she could speak her first words. A foodie by heart, she began her journalistic career as an intern at the SABC where she discovered her love for telling agricultural, community and nature related stories. Not a stranger to a challenge Ngcakani will go above and beyond to tell your truth.


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