Please Pass the Recipe

sharing recipes from one generation to the next

Duck Breast Poached in Red Master Stock

I like to eat duck much more than I like to prepare it. It’s not lack of experience, I just don’t feel confident cooking duck, because in the past my results have tended to be hit and miss. Sometimes in the cooler months I make a simple braise of duck marylands to have a supply of meat and juices to add to mushroom risotto, but frequently I’m disappointed with the flavour, so when we I’m hankering to eat duck I’ll buy a deliciously lacquered already roasted duck from the local Vietnamese BBQ restaurant.

There are no previous duck posts on PPTR. I’ve had good intentions, even cooked duck once every 3-4 months, but my perfectionist tendencies have prevented me from sharing. This is a red letter day.

With a litre of well used red master stock made to Kylie Kwong’s specifications in the freezer I decided to try poached duck breast under her guidance. The result was outstanding! The breast was moist, tender and lightly infused with the cinnamon, star anise and orange flavours of the stock. I was so focussed on getting the duck breast right I didn’t think about how I was going to serve it until about half an hour before dinner, but more about that another time.

This recipe from Kylie Kwong’s “Simple Chinese Cooking Class” is simply wonderful.

Duck Breast Poached in Red Master Stock

2 duck breasts at room temperature, each approx 200g

3 litres of red master stock *recipe follows


If you are reusing stock from the freezer increase the volume to 3 litres with filtered water.

Bring the stock to the boil, reduce the heat then lower the duck breasts into the pot.

Ensure they are completely submerged, but do not cover the pot

With the surface of the stock barely moving, poach the duck for 5 minutes.

Turn off the heat, cover the pot and allow the duck to sit in the stock at room temperature for

2 1/2 -3hours.

Remove the duck breasts from the stock and set aside to drain.

Strain the stock and set one cup aside to make the sauce.

Chill the remainder of the stock, then freeze for later use.

When ready to serve, slice the duck breasts thickly and spoon over the sauce.



1 cup of red master stock

2 tablespoon of brown sugar

the juice of a fresh lime

Add the sugar the 1 cup of stock you set aside.

Bring it to the boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

Simmer until reduced in volume by half.

Stir in the lime juice.


*Red Master Stock

4 spring onions, trimmed

80 g ginger, thickly sliced,

6 cloves garlic, crushed

4 strips orange peel, all pith removed

8 star anise

4 cinnamon quills

375 mls light soy sauce

250 mls Shao xing wine

1 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

3 litres of cold water

Put all the ingredients in a large pan.

Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

The stock is now ready for use.


About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

16 comments on “Duck Breast Poached in Red Master Stock

  1. Pingback: Vietnamese Crepes : bánh xèo | Please Pass the Recipe

  2. Gather and Graze
    April 12, 2015

    Wow… the flavours in this master stock sound magnificent Sandra! Poaching the duck really does sounds like a great way of ensuring that it will stay moist and tender.


    • ladyredspecs
      April 13, 2015

      Thanks Margot, this is the fourth dish I’ve made from this book that begins with poaching meat in red master stock. It is just fantastic. I’ll be doing this again very soon…


  3. trucvert
    April 10, 2015

    You seem to have done a wonderful job! We’ve posted a blog with tips for cooking duck (maybe it’ll be of interest to you?). It’s definitely of our favourite things to cook, from roasted duck breast to duck leg confit 🙂


  4. Francesca
    April 10, 2015

    This is so beautifully done, Sandra! I love duck and this recipe sounds wonderful!


  5. Eha
    April 10, 2015

    Oh you are turning out to be a very practical teacher for me! Love duck but cannot access separate duck breasts here in the country. But just realized I had to throw my last masterstock out quite awhile ago: don’t know where my Kylie Kwong with that recipe is so will be very grateful to you to be able to make a replacement over the weekend!! Have a good one 🙂 !


  6. Fae's Twist & Tango
    April 10, 2015

    I really do enjoy duck meat but have made it only twice. Mainly, enjoy them at restaurants. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It inspired me to make a Persian stew recipe I like to post, using duck meat. 🙂


  7. Debi @ My Kitchen Witch
    April 10, 2015

    Nice! I’ve never poached duck before – mostly just grilled. This master sauce sounds just the thing for a perfect moist duck breast.


  8. cheergerm
    April 9, 2015

    This master stock sounds masterful indeed Mrs R! My duck cooking has been a bit hit and miss too but this looks gorg! Ps I love that Kylie Kwong cookbook.


    • ladyredspecs
      April 9, 2015

      I love Kwong’s book too, every dish I’ve made has been fantastic and this method of cooking duck is seriously good

      Liked by 1 person

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