• Prep Time:
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  • Serves: 4 Servings

Dry-Marinating Ducks

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Chinese, Poultry

 Ingredients List

  • 3 tb Coarse (kosher) salt
  • 1 tb Whole Sichuan peppercorns,
  • -roasted and crushed
  • 2 ts Five-spice powder


Here's the first installment of what has turned into quite a series of
posts on Chinese Smoke Cooking. I've still got a few more recipes to
type in, but this on will getcha started...

This is the Chinese version of "smoking". It would better be called
"smoke cooking" as the process is much shorter than Western style
smoking. This first recipe is fairly complex and lengthy in that it
will take three days or so for all the steps. It involves dry
marinating, steaming and the actual smoking of the duck. This recipe
is from Ken Hom's "Chinese Technique" which is profusely illustrated
with photos. You'll have to use your imagination a bit...

Salt and five-spice powder make a fragrant dry marinade, which draws
some of the moisture from the duck so that the spices penetrate the
bird. The marinated duck is then steamed to firm and cook it, then is
finished by deep- frying or smoking. Chicken and squab may also be
prepared this way.

1. Press down hard on the duck's breastbone to flatten it.

2. Rub the dry marinade over the trimmed duck.

3. Rub the dry marinade inside the cavity.

4. Put the duck on a baking sheet and cover it with another flat

5. Weight down the top sheet with a pot filled with water to flatten
the duck and to make it release some of its own moisture. Let it
marinate like this, in a cool place or in the refrigerator, for 2
days. Use the marinated duck to make Smoked Tea Duck, or steam it for
2 hours to cook and render all the fat. Let it sit a room
temperature for several hours to dry then deep-fry in about 4 cups
oil until crisp.

SMOKED TEA DUCK: This is a cold dish that can be prepared well in
advance: in fact, we find that ducks smoked 2 days in advance are
more flavorful. Reduce the steaming time according to the size of the
bird: allow 15 minutes per pound for chicken, 30 minutes for squab.

The smoking process doesn't actually cook the duck. It adds flavor
to a duck already cooked by steaming and changes the texture of the
flesh to something similar to that of ham. A covered barbecue grill
(such as any of the kettle-type barbecues on the market) is perfect.

1 whole duck, 5 to 6 pounds, trimmed, dry marinated for 2 days 6
slices fresh ginger root, cut into 3-inch sections 6 whole scallions,
cut into 3-inch pieces

FOR SMOKING: 1 cup raw long-grain rice 1 cup dark Chinese tea leaves
1/2 cup brown sugar or hickory chips

Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer

May be smoked up to 2 days ahead of time and refrigerated until ready
to serve. Allow to reach room temperature.

Suggested beverage: Young, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon or Barolo

1. Stuff the cavity of the duck with the ginger and scallions.

2. Steam the duck for 1 hour 15 minutes (for a 5-pound duck) to 1
hour 30 minutes (for a 6-pound duck) to draw out the fat and to cook
the duck gently, keeping it moist. Drain the duck and remove the
ginger and scallions.

[If you don't have a steamer, you can improvise one by putting an
upside down bowl or flattish can with both ends removed in a stock
pot and then putting the duck on a plate on the can. Fill the pot up
to just below the plate, cover tightly and steam. S.C.]

3. Make a bed of charcoal in the barbecue and ignite it. When the
surface turns to ash, set a metal pie plate containing the smoking
ingredients on the coals.

4. Cover it with a grate and set the duck on the grate.

5. Cover the grill an smoke the duck for 45 to 50 minutes, turn ing
it every 10 to 15 minutes to brown it evenly. Check the coals
periodically to make sure they don't die down.

That's it. I serve this with hot mustard, hoisin sauce and chopped
green onions for dipping. And rice of course.

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