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Sous Vide Duck Breasts with Blood Orange Chocolate Sauce Feature Image

Sous Vide Duck Breasts

Tamara Andersen
Tender, succulent duck breasts get a quick sear after their hot bath, and slathered in a gorgeous sauce. Sous Vide Duck Breasts with blood orange chocolate sauce, served with a Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Mash is sure to "wow" even the most discerning palate!
4.75 from 8 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 45 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Eclectic, Mexican/Latin
Servings 2 servings
Calories 389 kcal


  • Sous Vide Cooker Immersion Circulator – Sous Vide Starter Kit
  • EVERIE Sous Vide Bundle Kit with Sous Vide Container 12 Quart
  • Dash Chef Series Stainless Steel Sous Vide


Sous Vide Duck Breast with Blood Orange Chocolate Sauce

  • 2 small duck breasts about 6 ounces each
  • sea salt and pepper (see notes)
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ cup dry sherry white wine or broth
  • 1 juicy orange zest and juice (see notes)
  • 1 ounce extra dark chocolate (I use 86% dark)
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar (see notes)
  • several shakes of mole or chocolate bitters optional
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • cilantro for garnish


Sous Vide Duck Breast with Blood Orange Chocolate Sauce

  • Pat the duck breasts dry, and season generously with salt and pepper. Place in air and water tight bags (vacuum or zip bags). Make sure all the air is removed. Place in water bath at desire internal temperature. See notes below
  • Remove duck from the bags. Pat dry thoroughly.
  • Place breasts skin side-down in heavy-bottomed 12-inch non-stick or cast iron skillet and set over high heat until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook, moving and pressing breasts to ensure good contact between skin and pan until golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook second side until barely colored, about 30 seconds. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate, cover with foil, and allow to rest while making the sauce.
  • Remove all but about a tablespoon of duck fat from the pan. Add the minced shallot and garlic, and saute about a minute over medium high heat. Add cumin, and saute another minute or so. 
  • Deglaze the pan with sherry, scraping any browned duck bits. Stir in the juice and zest, chocolate, agave nectar (if using), and bitters (if using). Season.
  • To Serve: Slice duck into ½" thick slices. Top with the blood orange chocolate sauce, and garnish with cilantro.


I recently did a post on DIY Finishing Salts. The Citrus Sea Salt is perfect for seasoning the duck breast prior to cooking! Also, I finally found Aleppo pepper locally, and with it's hint of heat and citrus notes, it's perfect as well. Use a good quality sea salt and fresh ground pepper...
You want a generous ¼ cup of orange juice. Blood oranges are not available year 'round, and not in every area when they're in season. Substitute any good, fresh orange (medium-sized) with lots of juice. Keep in mind the color of the sauce will not have the red tint.
The bitters are optional. They add depth and complexity, but you will have an excellent sauce without them!
If you use a chocolate that is less than 86% dark, you may want to taste the sauce before adding the agave nectar. 86% has no sweet taste (to my palate), so I feel the hint of sweetness is necessary. I also made the sauce with a 64% chocolate, and omitted the agave nectar entirely.
Don't forget to season the sauce!
Serious Eats is a "go to" resource for me. You can actually leave the duck in its bath for up to 4 hours. See Sous Vide 101: Duck Breast Recipe.


Serving: 6ouncesCalories: 389kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 36gFat: 14g
Keyword Christmas main dishes, Dinner for two, duck breast with orange chocolate sauce, fancy dinners, sous vide duck breast, Valentine's Day dinners
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