Smoke a Duck!

Hi all and welcome to my first ever entry to the new Chef's Blog section of our website.  On this blog I'll be sharing tips and tricks, some of my own recipes, new foods and techniques I am discovering, and keeping you up to date with what's happening down in depths of the kitchen.

So without further a do.... Let's get stuck in!!!

Smoke a Duck!

A few weeks ago we had an amazing night of fine dining in the Club with an 8 course tasting menu and paired wines.  One of the best received dishes of the night was my 'Duo of Duck', a smokey and sweet dish with confit then pan seared female duck leg and hay smoked and sliced duck breast, served with cherry, orange, salsify, cherry puree, potato fondant and a natural jus.

The most important technique for this dish is smoking the duck breast, and it's surprisingly easy!  So if you have a free afternoon over the weekend, why not spend some time in the kitchen and treat yourself... Smoke a Duck!!

Duck breasts smoking away...

Duck breasts smoking away...

What you will need;

  1. any old heavy duty tray
  2. a cooling rack
  3. tin foil
  4. fresh hay
  5. tea bags
  6. hardy herbs
  7. orange zest
  8. duck breast (of course)

Method;

  1. Line the tray with foil, drop in a few handfuls of hay, break a tea bag over it and add the hard herbs and orange zest.
  2. Place the tray on the stove or a BBQ and heat until lightly smoking (speed up the process with a burning wooden skewer if needed)
  3. Place the pre-seasoned duck breasts (skin side down) on the cooling rack, then over the smoker (be careful here for burns) and cover with foil, leaving a small chimney at the back corner.
  4. Smoke steadily for 12-15 minutes then rest for a few minutes over the hay (off the stove) allowing the meat juices to soak the hay.
  5. After, place the duck into the oven for a few more minutes at a medium temperature and cook to your liking (pink is best)
  6. The duck rested is ready to eat, hot or cold
  7. For the sauce, pass all the hay and dripping through a sieve into a pot and add red wine, honey and a little more zest.  Simmer and reduce by half then add a spoonful of butter and a splash of balsamic vinegar.  Reduce until emulsified.

Now you have a beautiful piece of meat and a uniquely flavoursome sauce, and the rest is up to you!  I have my own garnish as described before, but this duck would be served equally well with some good old potatoes and vegetables.

Happy cooking all, until next time!

Steve

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