The General recently took on the challenge of cooking duck. I say challenging because it is not something I normally do. We have a friend who loves duck so much that when he went on a two week cruise he had duck every night…go figure.
Duck really is good…if it is prepared correctly.
Here are the steps I followed:
1. Brine your duck with 1/2 cup of Kosher salt to 1 quart of water. Be sure to dissolve the salt very well…I used the blender to accomplish this. Let the duck brine overnight.
2. Remove from the brine and rinse thoroughly. Forgetting this step with cause your duck to be “over salty.”
3. Use a simple rub of Emeril’s Essence and some coarsely ground black pepper. Rub all parts of your duck.
4. I was not sure what kind of sauce or glaze to use, and,often, when TG is in doubt about a glaze or a sauce, I go to the
“The BBQ Queens’ Big Book of Barbecue” (Karen Adler). These gals really know their sauces…and they are pretty “saucy” too! On p. 241 I found just the right glaze. It calls for 8 ounces of dried apricots chopped or 1/4 cup apricot jam, 1 cup of cognac or brandy (TG used cognac), and 1 1/2 cups water.
- Place the apricots and cognac in a small saucepan and cook over low heat about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the water and simmer over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Turn down the heat and continue to simmer until the mixture is thick…about 10 minutes.
5. Prepare your fire for indirect cooking. TG added some pecan wood chunks to the fire. Before putting your breasts on the grill, you need to score the skin and the trick is to not cut into the meat. Try to make half inch diamonds all the way across the skin. Also you need to trim the skin so that it does not hang over the meat.
6. Cook over indirect heat turning about every 5 minutes until you reach an internal temperature of 170*.
This was definitely a cooking experience well worth repeating. If you really want to get good at cooking duck…or need some inspiration like TG…go to Maple Leaf Farms’ website. They even have the Duck University where you can become a duck expert…