Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Peking-Style Smoked Duck
It took about a week, and $63 worth of duck breasts, to get this right. It's kind of an all-day affair, but the results are worth it!
Peking-Style Smoked Duck
(for the simmer:)
2 fresh duck breast halves, about 3/4 pound each
about 2 quarts water
6 TBS honey
about 1 TBS fresh ginger, crushed (no need to chop)
1/4 cup soy sauce
about 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar (cider vinegar may be substituted)
(for the glaze:)
8 ounces orange juice
4 ounces Sake
1 TBS plus 1 tsp szechuan paste/sauce
2 TBS honey
1 to 1 1/2 TBS chopped fresh garlic
1 TBS fresh ginger, coarsely chopped or slivered
1 tsp lime juice
3 or 4 (or 5 or 6, if you like them) dried red Szechuan peppers, crumbled up
several drops sesame oil (about 1/4 tsp)
(the simmer): add the water, honey, soy sauce, ginger and vinegar to a large saucepan. As the mixture heats, stir to dissolve honey. When the mixture comes to a boil, add the duck breast. Return to a RAPID boil, and allow the duck to cook in the boiling liquid for three minutes.
After three minutes, remove the duck from the liquid, and place on a plate or platter. Cover the plate/platter loosely with foil, and store in a cool oven for the time being. Allow the simmering liquid to cool, then discard.
If you're using a smoker, now's the time to light the charcoal/wood, as per your manufacturer's directions. After 20-30 minutes, when the coals are hot and/or the wood is smoldering, add 1-2 quarts of plain water to your smoker's water pan. Place the cooking grill on top, and throw the duck breasts on, fat-side up (no need for oiling or for non-stick spray).
Allow the breast to smoke (I used a combination of mesquite and oak wood; you can use whatever you like) for about 4 hours, and medium-low heat (between 200-250 degrees F, approximately). For the last 30 minutes of cooking, brush on the glaze (see below).
Combine all the Glaze ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Over medium (or medium-low) heat, stirring often, simmer the mixture until it becomes thick and syrup-like, about 15-20 minutes. When it's ready, the glaze can then be kept in the saucepan, at room temperature, until it's ready to be brushed onto the duck.
After the smoking/glazing is done, you may opt to actually grill the duck breasts, briefly. This will result in a darker, richer-flavored piece of duck (and it will add grill marks, as well, which are visually appealing). Just throw the duck breasts onto a hot grill, skin-side down, for a minute or two (be careful not to allow the duck fat to burn...this happens quickly!).
When done, the duck may be served as-is (each diner has his/her own portion of duck breast), or it may be sliced and served with noodles, or atop a bed of fresh greens. Personally, I like it sliced thinly, then served alongside cold noodles with spicy peanut sauce.
Yield: 4 servings