Smoked Duck on Big Green Egg (or similar smoker/grill)

Ingredients:

  • 5 lb Duck (preferably Maple Leaf Farms duck)
  • 1 tablespoon Braswell's Feather-n-Fowl seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1-2 oranges cut into quarters
  • 2 lb Big Green Egg hickory charcoal
  • 2 fist-sized chunks cherry smoking wood
  • 4 tablespoon Braswell's Orange Marmalade
  • 4 tablespoon Braswell's Tart Cherry Preserve
  • 3 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar (preferably aged)
  • 1/2 chili powder or cayenne pepper depending on the level of heat

Directions:

If you have never smoked a duck, you have no idea what you are missing. It is not a fast process, but if you go through these simple steps, it is a relatively easy endeavor that will "wow" your friends!

Dry Brining
The first step is to unwrap the duck, remove everything from the cavity, rinse, and pat dry inside and out with paper towels.
Poke with a sharp knife at a flat angle just the skin all over the duck making sure not to go into the meat. The tiny holes created will allow some of the fat to seep out.
Rub Braswell's Feather-n-Fowl Seasoning with the salt and pepper all over the skin and cavity of the duck.
Set in a deep roasting pan and leave in the refrigerator for one to two days. This brining will help dry the duck skin, so it is crispy when served.

Set the grill up for low heat of 250 to 300 degrees.
After the grill is set up for this low temperature, we recommend placing a couple of bricks on the grate to get the duck higher in the dome for more indirect heat and more accumulation of the smoke.
Add the cherry chips to the coals to give the duck even more flavor.

Grill the duck (2 -3 hours):
After removing the duck from the refrigerator, place the orange quarters in the duck cavity and sew up the skin (we use a wooden skewer). This will impart more flavor and steam from the inside to keep the meat succulent.
Place the duck breast side up in the roasting pan on the bricks in your smoker that is at approximately 275 degrees. Our experience is that the temperature will fluctuate but if it is between 250 and 300 you will be fine.
After one hour check the duck. You should see it starting to brown nicely and there should be a good bit of fat that has drained to the bottom of the pan.
Carefully take the duck off the pan and on a clean cutting board, then pour the fat into a small bowl. A fatty duck may have about a cup of clear tasty fat that you can keep for flavoring other recipes. (Duck fat and sliced potatoes are the best!) Place the duck back on the pan this time breast down.
You may want to take a sharp knife and poke (just the skin and not the meat) all over the duck again so the fat can easily render out.
Leave the duck in the smoker for at least 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes repeat the process of retrieving the fat out of the pan and turning the duck one last time breast side up again, but this time you may want to check the temperature of the duck. It should be about 150 degrees at its thickest part of the thigh.
Cook it until it reaches a safe temperature of 165 to170 depending on your preference. Total time should be 2 to 3 hours for a 5 lb. bird.

Serve:
When the duck has reached the appropriate temperature of 165-175 take it out and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
During this resting time, make the finishing sauce.
Place the Braswell's Tart Cherry, Braswell's Orange Marmalade, balsamic vinegar, and chili powder or cayenne pepper in a saucepan and cook on low until it starts to reduce (hint: a teaspoon of the duck fat can be added to the sauce to make it even more rich).
When it is ready and the duck has rested, slice the duck breast like you would a small turkey making sure to have a thin slice of the skin with every cut.
The skin should be crispy and flavorful from the rub and the fat should have rendered perfectly into the meat.
Drizzle on the sliced duck breast with the fruity sauce for a perfect entree.