Making a duck was one of my New Year's food-making resolutions. I didn't grow up as a vegetarian, but I always come to cooking any meat with some trepidation. I conquered my duck fears by smoking it. I was tickled when the duck came out perfectly moist and tender. Bring it on, duck! —NakedBeet
Test Kitchen Notes
I am so happy that Naked Beet conquered her fear of the duck and shared this delicious recipe. The marinade has a wonderful smell and yields a juicy, perfectly seasoned duck. The plum wine sauce is a lovely, sweet-tart foil for the ducks’ deep richness. Next time, I will increase the amount of tea leaves for a smokier flavor. I modified my stovetop smoker to accommodate the duck, so don’t be deterred by equipment – if you have a pan, a rack, and foil you can make one too! —aargersi
Day 1, 24-hour marinade
5-pound whole duck
low salt soy sauce
3-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
whole lemon, halved
whole lime, halved
Day 2, Smoking the Duck
black tea (mango black, lapsang souchang, etc)
white rice (use a cheap white rice as you'll be tossing it later)
Plum Wine Sauce:
rice wine vinegar
Juice of 2 tangerines
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced into thin strips
Day 1, 24 Hour Marinade: In a large bowl, mix the water, soy sauce, honey, maple syrup, garlic, ginger and the juice of the lemon, lime and tangerines (save the spent citrus). Remove the giblets, liver, and any other treats from inside the cavity and pierce the skin of the duck all over with a fork (especially satisfying after a long day at the office). Fill the duck’s cavity with the spent citrus. Place the marinade liquid and duck inside and extra large plastic bag and then seal the bag. I like to place the bag into a large bowl in case the bag breaks or moving things around in the fridge pierces the bag accidentally. Marinate the duck for at least 24 hours.
Day 2, Smoking the Flavors: Line the bottom of your wok with aluminum foil and layer long sheets of aluminum (high enough to cover the duck completely) every few inches so there are no gaps in the foil. You’re basically creating a tent for the duck. Place the steamer insert inside the wok and turn the heat to high. Heat the rice until it starts to smoke. Before placing the duck, breast side up, on top of the steam insert, pat it dry and cover it completely so no steam can escape.
On medium low heat, steam the duck for 20 minutes. Turn the stove off and, keeping it covered, let it rest under the aluminum tent for an additional 10 minutes. Preheat your oven to 375º. Place the duck (throw the rice and tea away) into a roasting pan and roast the duck for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the skin starts turning crispy. If you’re going to reserve the drained fat for use in other recipes, do this while the fat is still in its liquid state. Let the duck rest for for a few minutes before cutting into the meat.
Plum Wine Sauce: For the last 30 minutes of roasting, put all of the sauce ingredients into a pan and cook for 20 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and becomes thick. Remove the peels and garlic and reserve the sauce as a glaze over the duck.