Well my hunt to find a fresh farmed raised duck dispatched by strangulation to ensure it's "juices" were left intact never paned out so I went with fresh duck instead and bypassed the "pressing" portion of the recipe this time. For more on Pressed duck you can see this previous post. http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/152228/anyone-know-where-to-get-fresh-ducks This is what I wanted to due, but you really need to have a fresh butchered duck.
I started off with a fairly large Rouen duck that was a little under 5 lbs in size from the local butcher.
The duck was allowed to come up to room temp and the liver was put aside so it can be used for the sauce. The duck was rubbed lightly with some grape seed oil and a dry rub was added. The dry rub consisted of Simply Marvelous - Peppered Cow, Jamaican allspice, Jamaican Jerk seasoning, Chinese five spice and smoked Paprika.
I apply a generous amount of rub to the every part of the bird. I then cross score the meat breast side which helps render out some of the fat and let the rub sit for about 10-15 minutes. This rub works really well with duck and compliments it’s natural flavor. I eat duck often and found this to be the rub I like the most, but fill free to use whatever you enjoy.
While the rub is sweating I put the entire liver, some Grand Marnier, Rum (I like Sailor Jerry), and Orange blossom honey into the blender. I add a dash of lemon and a little scallion and blend on high until smooth.
I usually end up with about 1/4 -1/2 cup of liquid then add the mixture to a nonstick pan and add a half of stick of good butter. Make sure you’re using good butter. I like the flavor of Tillamook although more expensive it’s worth the costs. Add a dash of salt and pepper and simmer on low until the sauce start to bubble lightly.
It’s key to simmer on a very low heat or the liver will start to separate from the rest of the sauce and end up grainy. Once it’s up to temp I added in ¼ cup of merlot. You can use any red wine, but I like merlot and decided to go with a Barnard Griffen 03. Let that simmer for a couple of minutes and remove from heat.
I cooked the duck on a Green Mountain Grill - Jim Bowie and used Apple and Pecan pellets from BBQr’s delight. Once the rub has sweated a little I put it right on the GMG before I start it up. I place the duck breast side up on the grill and insert the temp probe into the breast. Since the grill smolders a bit while it warms up this allows a good amount of smoke to impart into the meat as it takes about 15-20 minutes for the grill to get up to a temp of 150.
I let it continue smoking at 150 for about 30-45 minutes to ensure I get a good amount of smoke into the meat since it only cooks for about 45 minutes at 220. If you go directly up to 220 you don’t get as much smoke flavor which in my opinion really helps cut through some of the gamey flavor that turns off people from duck. The duck smokes at 220 until the duck breast comes to an internal temp of 100 degrees.
Once the breast hits 100 I bump up the smoker all the way up to 450 and cook it as hot as possible until the temp of the breast reaches 120 degrees then I pull it. It’s important to finish it off as hot as possible as the hot temp really starts to render off a lot of the excess fat and juice which helps the searing portion as you end up with a nice crisp to the skin. Make sure you don’t toss the rendered fat away as you need it to pan sear your meat after smoking. At 120 the duck is still very rare and not quit done, but the skin will have a great carmilization and dark burgundy color on it.
The scored area should show very pink meat. I let the meat rest for 10 minutes then I separate both breasts and both legs from the bird. This is when you would normally take the leftover carcass that’s still very rare and place it into your press to extract those delicious juices, but because I didn’t start with a fresh duck that had all it’s internal “juices” left in I skipped the pressing process and replaced the duck juices with wine in my sauce.
Now that I have my pieces parted out I pan sear them in the duck fat I pulled from the smoker’s drip tray. I sear it on a medium hot stainless steel pan which really crips up the skin and renders off the rest of the fat. Once the pieces have cooked for about 5 minutes or so I add in the liver sauce I put aside and let it cook for a minute. Don’t cook it too long or the sauce will start to separate. I plate all 4 pieces and cover with the sauce from the pan and serve. I only did 1 duck which will server about 2-4 people since a few family members don’t eat duck. No worries as I enjoyed the duck more than the prime rib this year.....