Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sweet and Smoky Spring Cleaning Duck

Last weekend, Stew had some good-looking ducks at his shop. So I picked up two knowing that one four-to-five pound duck feeds about two people.  With the seasons changing, we thought this was a great time for Spring Cleaning Duck, and after it was carved, we put the meat on top of a great salad and it really came out great.  The flavor (not the texture) is similar to Peking duck, but we didn't go through all the hassle of drying out the bird and the smoke added a great flavor, as well.

First ,I brined the ducks overnight, and making the brine is quick and easy.

1.5 Gallons of water
1 Cup kosher salt
1 Cup orange juice
5 Garlic cloves
Tablespoon of black peppercorns

Mix all this together, add your duck, and put it in the fridge overnight.

Next, I smoked the duck for 4.5-5 hours at 250 degrees.  I used hickory and apple wood on top of the coals in the smoker.

To smoke the duck:
1. Remove duck from brine and prick the skin several times (just the skin) so the fat can run out.
2. Cut off any fat that is hanging off the bird.  Dry off the bird.
3. Put the duck on a smoking spit.
4. Put the duck in the smoker with a pan underneath to catch the dripping fat.
5. Figure out a way to keep the inside of the smoker moist.  I placed two cans of beer in the smoker.
6. After 30 minutes, begin basting the  bird every 25-30 minutes, with the spring cleaning glaze.
7. After 5 hours it's done.  Take the duck off and carve.

While the duck is smoking, you'll want to prepare your Spring Cleaning Glaze.  Why odd name, you may ask?  Well, this sauce gives you the chance to empty out all the mostly used jellies and turn them into a jam-azing sauce for your duck.  You'lld need:

1. 1/2 Cup honey
2. 2 Cups of Jelly, combined (whatever jellies and spreads you have kicking around in your fridge)
3. The juice of one lemon
4. 2 Tablespoons of ground ginger root
5. 1 Tablespoon of your favorite hot sauce

Put all this is a pan and heat to a boil.  Turn down the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.  Then let the sauce cool until it becomes thick and sticky.  That way is easily adheres to the bird.

Check out the completed bird in the video.  It tasted as good as it looks.

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