Sugar-tea smoked duck breasts


For the marinade
For the duck

Preparation method

  1. To marinate the duck: finely grind the coriander seeds, peppercorns and cloves in an electric coffee/spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, then stir together with the sugar, salt, parsley and zest in a large bowl.

  2. Score the duck skin in a crosshatch pattern with a sharp knife. Bury the duck breasts in the salt mixture and chill, covered, for 30 minutes. Rinse the duck breasts lightly and dry well with kitchen roll.

  3. To smoke the duck: if you don't own a proper smoker, line the inside of a large turkey roasting pan with foil and spread with loose tea and top with sugar, and star anise. Place a foil-covered rack (cooling racks work well) inside the roaster. Put the roasting pan on top of the stove, centred on one burner. Place the duck breasts on the rack. Heat the pan, uncovered, over a moderate heat until the sugar-tea mixture begins to smoulder, about 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover tightly, and smoke the duck for 10 minutes. Remove the roasting pan from the heat.

  4. To cook the duck: preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Warm an ovenproof frying pan with cooking oil over a medium heat. Fry the breasts, skin side down, for 8-10 minutes. Pour away any excess fat from the pan and add a knob of butter. Turn the breasts over and place in the oven to finish cooking for a further 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the breasts and desired doneness.

  5. Remove from the oven, baste with butter in pan, transfer to a plate and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

30 mins to 1 hour preparation time

Over 2 hours cooking time

Serves 4

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