Yield: 4 servings
4 lb To 5 lb. duck, washed and dried
6 tb Reduced-sodium soy sauce
4 Whole pieces star anise
1 Cinnamon stick
1 c Uncooked long-grain white rice
1 c Strong black tea leaves, such as Darjeeling
1 c Brown sugar
1 ts 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
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
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 1/2 lb.
Serves 4 as an appetizer.