June 13, 2012

Home Cooking: Smoked Duck

I've professed my love for duck here before. It has become one of my favorite proteins. Once you get hooked on duck, it will make chicken seem like a second-class citizen. This weekend, I roasted a whole duckling on my Big Green Egg. I bought the Bell & Evans duck at Whole Foods, and as much as I love being hooked on duck, I don't really love the fact that a whole 5lb duck costs about twice as much as a whole chicken.
Duck after 2 hours at ~275 degrees
I rubbed the duck with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika about 8 hours before roasting. I roasted for a total of six hours, keeping the BGE between 275-285 degrees. At the six hour mark the skin was nice and crispy and the meat just fell off the bone with a slight tug. Interesting that duck smoked over low heat tastes a bit like pulled pork when it's finished.
What to do with all this duck. You could just scarf it down, but you could also use it as I did to make smoked duck banh mi pictured above. The next night I used the left over leg meat to make some tasty duck and cherry-spike-salsa tacos. That was fun, too.
I also made a little cherry tomato salad including bacon, oven-dried kale chips, and Cotija cheese.
Washed all this goodness down with a NV Henriot Souverain Brut. A very good Champagne in the $30 price range. Crisp and refreshing on a hot summer night. Beginning to think I could forgo all wine but Champagne and be happy. More on that thought later.

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