Grilling: Tea Smoked Rotisserie Duck
So now that I have duck sauce, why not pair that with some duck!
While I'll always prefer duck breasts cooked to a rosy medium, a whole duck on the grill poses a problem—a medium breast isn't going to happen if you want to cook the rest of the meat properly. So in an effort to keep the breast meat tasty and juicy when cooked well, start the duck in a soy sauce-based brine.
After the brine, poke little holes all over the duck breasts to allow the fat to render and pour boiling water over the entire bird to tighten up the skin. Then onto the spit it goes, where it rotates and absorbs some flavorful spiced tea-smoke as it turned a beautiful mahogany and rises in temperature.
This bird reminded me that I really need to convince my wife that duck is the best poultry readily available. I need more wonders like this over the comparatively mundane chicken.
While I wish the skin was a bit crisper (next time I'll try out Kenji's baking powder and air dry method to achieve this), the duck was full of flavor. The meat was tender and juicy, having a slight saltiness from the soy sauce and just a kiss of smokiness—making it absolutely fine on its own, but add some duck sauce or hoisin, and now we're talking.
Looking back, making a duck sauce recipe was really just fodder to get me to this excellent piece of meat!
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About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.