Smoked Duck Breast With Easy Cherry Orange Sauce

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In the BBQ world, duck is commonly disregarded in favor of huge, strong, rich meats like brisket, but it, like lamb, lends itself incredibly nicely to smokey tastes.

If you’ve never had what I call the Rolls Royce of poultry, you’re losing out!

I’ll teach you how to prepare a great smoked duck breast in this recipe, as well as a quick cherry and orange reduction that cuts through the richness of the duck nicely.

Smoked Duck Breast

Smoked Duck Breast With Easy Cherry Orange Sauce

Duck breast is readily overcooked and might taste dry. But when done correctly, you get juicy, rosy, smoky duck breasts.

I employ a technique akin to a reverse sear, beginning with a higher-than-usual indirect heat smoke, followed by a rapid sear over high heat to render some fat and crisp up the skin.

What youll need:

  • A smoker with both indirect and direct heat capabilities, such as a kettle-style grill
  • A thermometer with an immediate read or a means of measuring interior temperature
  • Smoking wood chunks, cherry or pecan are perfect
  • Charcoal or heat beads as a heat source
  • A cast-iron or heavy bottom skillet
  • A sharp knife

What kind of duck to use for this recipe

Smoked Duck Breast With Easy Cherry Orange Sauce

You could purchase a full duck and debone it (duck leg confit is fantastic, and the broth you can prepare from a duck carcass is really delicious in an Asian style soup like Pho), but most reputable butchers and supermarkets offer prepackaged duck breasts.

Ideally, aim for free-range and responsibly sourced duck. I raise poultry (including ducks), and the difference between free-range and factory-farmed meat is astounding.

Speak with or source from a farmers market or farm shop if one is nearby. You’ll be grateful afterwards. If you can’t get farm-raised duck, duck from your local market will still taste fantastic.

If that fails, you may get excellent duck from online butchers such as Crowd Cow.

If you want to prepare wild duck you’ve hunted, I recommend reading this tutorial, which goes into greater depth on what to do.

How to smoke duck breast

1. Trim any excess fat

Once you’ve obtained your breasts, they just need little preparation before being placed on the smoker.

To begin, remove any excess fat from the duck breast.

Duck is already a fatty bird, thus trimming any excess fat is OK (see picture for assistance). You may use the remaining fat to create the most delicious roast potatoes later.

2. Score the skin

2 intervals, taking care to just chop through the fat and not the meat itself. The pink flesh should not be visible behind the fat.Then, score the skin and fat diagonally across the breast at approximately 1 inch intervals.

3. Season

Next, we need to season the duck breasts.

You may season with salt and pepper or with your favorite BBQ rub. I feel that Chinese Five Spice mixes well with duck and complements the sauce I use.

You just need a little dusting of the five spice, since it may be overpowering if you use too much.

4. Prepare your smoker or grill

Set your grill to a temperature of roughly 375F-400F. Because the cook time for these is quite short, I find that a half chimney of charcoal briqutties is usually plenty.

You may utilize your smoking wood bits once you’re ready to place the duck on. I used pecan this time, but cherry is also delicious.

Place your wood on top of your duck breasts at the same time. Because the cook time is limited, you’ll want to make sure you get the most smoke flavor into them without overwhelming them.

Put the smoking wood piece on the grill in an indirect position away from the heat source to warm it up and guarantee it ignites cleanly when you place it on the coals, rather than smoldering and producing noxious white smoke.

5. Smoking your duck

When your grill is hot, it’s time to smoke your duck. Place the breasts on the grill, away from the direct heat, and top with the wood piece. The plump side of the breasts should be up.

We’ll crisp up the skin and render the fat afterwards.

Your duck should be done in around 20-30 minutes to get a proper internal temperature of 150F for medium.

Unlike chicken, which must be cooked to at least 165°F, duck may be eaten at any temperature. In fact, cooking it medium prevents it from drying out.

Check your breasts after about 15 minutes and remove from the heat when they reach 150F.

6. Sear the duck breasts

Allow them to rest for a few minutes while you heat a cast iron skillet or heavy-bottomed frypan with a drizzle of oil.

When the oil is heated, add the duck breasts skin side down to the pan and fry for a few minutes, until the fat has rendered and the skin has crisped up. Be cautious, since the fat may smoke a lot.

Once the skin has begun to brown, remove from the pan and place on a platter, covering with foil to keep warm.

Making the cherry orange sauce (optional)

I use canned cherries in syrup (I know, I know), but hear me out: using canned cherries saves time boiling them down and decreasing the liquid.

After removing the duck from the pan, drain the fat and clean the pan with a paper towel. Return to the fire and add the cherries, along with about half of the syrup.

In a pinch, 4 cup port or red wine. Add half a teaspoon of ginger powder, a teaspoon of brown sugar, half a tablespoon of soy sauce, a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, one and a half teaspoons of orange marmalade, and around 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Cook until it’s thick and syrupy. This should just take a few minutes, but constantly stirring to ensure it doesn’t scorch or burn. If you need to remove it from the heat, do it quickly and thoroughly before it becomes sticky.

Duck serving suggestions

Remove the duck foil, slice thickly, and place on a dish. Drizzle the reduced sauce over the top of the duck breasts.

If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll serve it with asparagus roasted directly over flames and buttery mashed potatoes.

Serve with a deep, dark red wine, such as Shiraz Grenache from Australia.

Cheers, mate.


How long does it take to smoke duck breast?

Place the duck breasts, skin side up, on the smoker’s grill rack. Underneath, place a drip pan. Smoke at 225°F (110°C) for 3 to 4 hours, adding additional maple wood chips as needed to keep the smoke going, until duck breasts achieve an internal temperature of 160°F (70°C).

What goes well with smoked duck breast?

What Should You Serve With Duck Garlic Mashed Potatoes?
Rice with Vermicelli.
Mushrooms and onions sautéed.
Cherry Tomatoes with Asparagus.
Mushrooms with Garlic Butter.
Carrots, roasted.
Beans in green.

What to serve with duck in orange sauce?

What to Serve with Duck a la Orange. This duck recipe goes well with simple side dishes like a combination of white and wild rice tossed with toasted almonds and oven-roasted green beans. Our favorite wine is Gewürztraminer, although a semi-sweet German Riesling (Auslese) is also delicious.

Does smoked duck breast need to be cooked?

To Serve: Smoked poultry is thoroughly cooked, cured, and smoked, and is ready to serve hot or cold. Before cooking or slicing, remove any netting. Meat will become pink owing to smoking. Preheat oven to 275 °F if you wish to warm it slowly.

What is the best temp to smoke duck?

We suggest maintaining the smoker temperature between 225 and 245 degrees. If you don’t have a genuine smoker, you may prepare this on a charcoal grill with wood chips.

How long does it take to smoke a duck at 225?

Place the chicken in the smoker with the drip pan beneath. For 4 hours, smoke between 200 and 225 degrees over apple wood. Every hour, baste the ducks with maple syrup. Allow to cool fully after smoking before carving.

Is smoked duck fully cooked?

4 cup water or chicken broth to the pan’s bottom.Our smoked ducks are completely cooked and ready to eat hot or cold. Preheat your oven to 325°F to gently warm the smoked duck. Place the duck in a roasting pan with 1

What is the best way to eat smoked duck?

They’re great hot or cold, with or without additional ingredients, sliced and eaten with some good bread and salad (particularly if you’re impatient like me).

Do you smoke duck breast up or down?

When your smoker reaches 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit, place your duck breast side down on the grates. This ensures that the fat at the rear of the bird melts into the flesh, resulting in a soft smoked duck.

What is the difference between duck sauce and orange sauce?

Duck sauce (or orange sauce) is a sweet and sour condiment with a transparent orange hue comparable to thin jelly. It is used as a dip for deep-fried meals like as wonton strips, spring rolls, egg rolls, duck, chicken, fish, or with rice or noodles at American Chinese restaurants.


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