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Tea-smoked Duck


Tea-smoked Duck
1 five- to six-pound fresh Long Island duck
1 teaspoon each of salt and ground white pepper
1/2 cup maltose
1/2 cup Chinese black or Fujianese red rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 Tablespoon five-spice powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil mixed with one tablespoon sesame oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup Lung Ching or Lapsung Souchung tea leaves
1 cup raw white glutinous or regular white rice
1. Bring ten-quart pot half-filled with cold water to the boil. Using a heavy fork or a mesh bag, immerse the duck head first, then legs first into the water, two minutes for each end of the bird. Then let the duck air dry for twenty minutes on each side, or hang it for twenty minutes until the skin drys and gets somewhat taut. If it is winter, hang the duck overnight in a garage or similar place, or sit it covered on a rack in the refrigerator. Next sprinkle salt and pepper inside the cavity and on the skin of the bird.
2. In a small pot, bring the maltose, rice vinegar, soy sauce and spice powder to just below the boil, and set this mixture in the pan where the duck will be smoked.
3. Brush the duck with some of the oil now and every twenty minutes.
4. Prepare a charcoal grill or a Weber or similar grill outside the house or in an open garage, cars removed and parked elsewhere. Or use a commercial smoker (and follow the manufacturers instructions). If using a charcoal grill, put a disposable aluminum pan on top of the briquets, or pushing some aside, place it in the center of where they were. If using a commercial grill, put the pan under the grill elements. Fill this pan with the maltose mixture and the rice. When the coals are hot or the grill registers 300 degrees F, set the duck near but not directly over the coals or the elements. Make a loosely put together aluminum foil tent to partially enclose the smoke.
5. Smoke the duck for three to four hours, or until a meat thermometer indicates the poultry is cooked. Do not leave the thermometer in the duck, insert it after two hours to check for doneness.
6. Remove the duck from the smoker, let rest half an hour, then chop into two-inch pieces, and serve.

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