Smoked duck is a recipe I've been wanting to attempt for a long time. However, I have to admit I had a slight fear of damaging my wok, my kitchen, my home, or something much worse!
Well, I need not have worried, it was a cinch. Really it was, trust me. If I can do it, anyone can.
Before we begin I do have one confession "I am a useless photographer". There I've said it.
As I cook mostly of an evening, we all know that's the worst time of day for food photography, my shots were just too bad to publish!
But, all is not lost, as I'm also promoting Donald Russell here as our recommended supplier for your duck breasts so all photo credits and a big "thank you" go to Donald Russell
Recipe adapted from Epicurious
2 Donald Russell Duck breasts with skin
2 tbs Shaoxing wine
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbs Sichuan peppercorns
2 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup loose green tea leaves (I used japanese green tea)
1/3 cup rice
3 tbs dark brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick broken into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon vegetabe oil
Wash and pat dry the duck breasts. Score skin about 1/2 inch apart through fat (do not cut into meat) in a crosshatch pattern with a sharp knife.
Combine rice wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger in a sealable plastic bag. Add duck, skin side up, and press out as much air as possible before sealing. Marinate duck (skin side up), chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight. Transfer duck breasts to a plate and pat dry, discarding marinade.
Toast peppercorns and salt in a dry small heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring mixture and shaking skillet occasionally, until peppercorns are fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Coarsely grind mixture in grinder. Rub mixture all over duck skin, then let stand, uncovered, at room temperature, 1 hour.
Meanwhile, line bottom of wok and inside of lid with a double layer of heavy-duty foil, leaving a 3-inch overhang along edges. Stir together tea leaves, rice, brown sugar, and cinnamon pieces in a small bowl, then spread in an even layer (1/4 inch thick) on bottom of wok. Invert rack and set in wok. (It will rest 1 1/2 to 2 inches from bottom of wok.)
Heat a heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then swirl in vegetable oil. Add duck breasts, skin sides down, and sear, without turning, until skin is deep golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
Using tongs, transfer duck breasts, skin sides up, to center of rack in wok, arranging them 1 inch apart. Heat wok, uncovered, over high heat, until steady wisps of smoke begin to appear, 5 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate, then cover wok and, using oven mitts, fold overhang from wok and lid together, crimping to seal tightly (foil will be very hot). Smoke duck breasts, covered, 8 minutes, then remove wok from heat and let stand, covered, 10 minutes for medium-rare to medium. Carefully unwrap foil (smoke and steam will billow out) and transfer duck to a cutting board. Let stand, loosely covered with foil, 10 minutes. Cut each duck breast across the grain into thin slices. Serve duck warm or at room temperature.
I served the duck breasts with noodles. However, I think a salad would definitely by my choice next time.
If you would like to try this recipe, please come back and let me know your thoughts.
No meat is more tender or delicious than that from Donald Russell, Royal Warrant holder and Britain's leading mail order meat supplier. A pioneering online butcher.