Tea smoked duck

Yield: 4 Servings

Measure Ingredient
\N \N Stephen Ceideburg
4 pounds To 5 lb. duck, washed and dried
6 tablespoons Reduced-sodium soy sauce
4 \N Whole pieces star anise
1 \N Cinnamon stick
1 cup Uncooked long-grain white rice
1 cup Strong black tea leaves, such as Darjeeling
1 cup Brown sugar
1 teaspoon Toasted sesame oil

The Chinese method of home smoking is surprisingly easy and eliminates duck's fattiness while preserving its flavor. Serve tea-smoked duck as an appetizer at room temperature with toothpicks, or use the meat in stir-fries.

Remove any fat from the cavity of the duck and prick the bird all over. Bring an inch or two of water and 4 Tbsp. soy sauce to a boil in a wok with a tight-fitting lid. Add star anise and cinnamon. Place the duck on a rack in the wok, cover and steam over simmering water just until the juices run clear, about 40 minutes.

Remove the duck from the wok, pouring out any juice from the cavity, and set the bird aside. Discard liquid, rinse the wok and dry it with paper towels. Line it with heavy aluminum foil, allowing foil to hang about 2" over the edge. Place rice, tea and sugar in the bottom of the wok and mix well. Place a rack about 1 inch above the rice mixture. (If you do not have a rack that fits properly, place four chopsticks across the wok so that they crisscross.) Place the duck on the rack, breast-side up. Cover with foil, allowing at least 1 inch between the duck and foil and letting the foil cover also hang about 2 inches over the edge. Cover with the lid.

Turn heat to high (turn on exhaust fan) and cook until smoke begins to emerge from the wok, 3 to 5 minutes. Crimp the top and bottom edges of the overhanging foil together and smoke for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and smoke for 20 minutes longer. Turn off heat and, leaving foil sealed, let sit for 15 minutes. Unwrap duck and discard tea mixture and aluminum foil. (The duck can be smoked up to 2 days ahead and stored, well covered, in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving)

Remove and discard skin. Carve the breast meat into thin slices. Cut the legs from the carcass (discard carcass) and separate the thigh from the drumstick at the joint. Mix remaining 2 Tbsp. soy sauce and sesame oil and brush over the meat. Makes about ½ lb. cooked meat.

Serves 4 as an appetizer.


From "Eating Well", Jan/Feb, 1992.

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