Smoked Crispy Duck in Apple wood with Bigarade Sauce and Gravy

Click on pic to enlarge


 5 1/2- to 6-pound Peking duck, trimmed of excess fat—necks, gizzards and hearts reserved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed but not peeled
1 small bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
5 navel oranges
1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

  1. Prepare the duck.  Rinse and dry.  Cut out the wishbone from the neck opening.  Leave the duck on a rack in a pan in the frig over night to dry and drain.
  2. Chop one orange, small onion, 1 carrot and 1 celery stalk (mirepoix).  Salt the cavity of the duck.  Fill the cavity with fresh rosemary and the mirepoix.
  3. Cut a 22-inch length of cooking string.  Fold the tail into the cavity and tie the sting across the back of the legs over the tail to close the cavity.  With the remain two ends of the string bring over the wing elbow, flip the duck over, pull the neck skin on the belly and tie the string to hold the skin and the wings in place.  Take a sausage poker and poke holes in the skin of the duck top, sides, and bottom.  Sprinkle kosher salt over the duck with pepper and leave the duck at room temp.  The salt will begin to remove water from the duck. Paint olive oil on the skin of the duck.
  4. In a large roasting pan cover the bottom and sides with aluminum foil.  This keeps the pan clean when placed in the smoker.  Add the rest of the mirepoix to the bottom of the pan and pour in one cup of dry white wine.  Add the rack and place the duck on the rack.  Get the smoker hot to 300°.  Add the apple wood in a smoker box and place on coals.  Put the duck in the smoker for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 375.  After an hour on the smoker, place in the oven and cook ~30 minutes per pound.  A 7 Lb. duck will take around 3.5 hours to cook, this includes the time spent in the smoker.  Before removing, check the crispiness of the skin and the internal temps of the breast and the leg.  The duck will cook at different rates.  The legs will take longer.  Internal temp of thigh should be at least 160° and the breast will be 155°.  Test the leg by moving it back and forth to see if starts to separate at the joint. 
  6. While duck is in the oven make the gravy and the Bigarade Sauce. 
  7. Gravy – In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the hearts, gizzards, wing ends and neck and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until richly browned, 10 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, 1 small bay leaf and thyme and cook, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes. Then gradually stir in the chicken stock and wine. Bring to a boil, stirring, then reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer for 1 hour. Strain the sauce into a bowl, pressing on the solids.  Add oil to the pan and stir in the flour, then add the sauce until you get a thick gravy.  Turn off heat and cover.
  8. Bigarade Sauce – In a medium saucepan, boil the sugar and vinegar over moderately high heat until the syrup is a pale caramel color, 4 minutes. Gradually add the 1 cup of orange juice and bring to a boil. Add the Grand Marnier and remove from the heat. Swirl in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time.  Remove from heat and pour in a glass measuring cup.
  9. In a separate small bowl add the Bigarade Sauce.  Pour the gravy in a gravy boat.  This gives a chance to pour gravy on any stuffing while also allowing to dip the duck into the Bigarade without blending the two together. 
  10. Cut the breast and serve with the crispy skin.  The rest of the duck can be cut up and served separately. 
  11. After eating save the duck carcass and the left over duck so it can be used in a duck gumbo at a later date.

As of 11/26/21

Thai Spicy Curry Noodle Soup

1 TBSP vegetable oil
2 deboned chicken thighs (~1 lb.), skin fried cut into 1-inch chunks*
1 TBSP Garlic, run through a small grater
1 TBSP fresh Galanga or Ginger, run through a small grater
1 red bell pepper, diced
¼ red onion, thinly diced
1 small shallot, thinly diced
3 scallions, chopped
1 cup cubed eggplant, salted and sweat, then rinsed**
1 green Serrano pepper chopped
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 (13.5-ounce) can chicken broth
1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
1/2 (8-ounce) package vermicelli rice noodles
1 tsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar or Shoaxing Wine
¼ cup chopped fresh Thai basil leaves
Cilantro for garnish
2 slices of lime

*Boneless Chicken Thigh – trim the skin.  Slice the meat above the bone on the back side.  With poultry shears cut the knuckles.  Remove the final small piece of bone.  I use a sharp curved boning knife. 

** Eggplant salted and sweat, then rinsed.  Each year I grow Eggplant.  Cut several slices.  Add salt to both surfaces to sweat the eggplant to remove the bitterness. Then rinse in cold water to remove the salt.

Salt and pepper chicken.  Brown in veg oil.  Then fry the chicken skin side up for 3 minutes then skin side down for three minutes.  This releases fat from the skin.  Remove the skin.  Cut chicken into cubes.

Add onion, shallot, red bell pepper, garlic and galanga (or ginger).  Sauté ~2 minutes on medium low.   Add a dash of Shoaxing Wine to deglaze the pan.  Add the red curry and stir in and cook another 2 minutes.  Add the can of coconut milk.  Use that can to fill it with chicken broth and add that. 

Add the chicken, eggplant, Serrano pepper and scallions.  Bring it a nice gentle boil.  Reduce about 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile boil the noodles separately 12 minutes.  I once tried cooking the noodles in the soup, but the soup got too thick from the starch and the flavor was reduced from the boiling. 

Add the noodles, Thai basil, soy sauce, Shoaxing Wine, fish sauce to the pot. Stir.  Cook covered another 5 to 10 minutes on gentle boil.  Serve in a bowl with slices of lime and cilantro.


English Bangers

(Click on pics to enlarge)

This is a Cumberland style banger owing to the mix of seasonings. 

I use 3.0 Lbs. pork shoulder with plenty of fat. Run through the meat grinder on the largest blade. Put the mixture in the freezer for 30 minutes and then grind again through a small die.

Rusk (Bread Crumbs)
I made rusk from scratch with baking powder and no yeast.  Using rusk is the traditional way of making bangers.  However, a coarse panko can also be used.  The purpose for the rusk is to bind the meat and fat and retain the juices in the sausage.

Rusk Recipe
135 gr. flour
80 ml. cold water
1.5 tsp. baking powder
dash of salt

Mix all in a bowl and form a dough ball. Roll out the dough to ¼ inch. In 450° oven bake 10 minutes. Slice the dough in ½ lengths, lower the over to 375° another 10 minutes. If they aren’t dry enough bake another 5 minutes on 275°. Run bread through a food processor grating blade and then the processor blade to make the rusk fine.

36″ of casings per pound, Add the rusk 45 g. per pound and 3.5 tsp of seasoning per pound to the meat in a KitchenAid mixing bowl with the meat and 67 g. of water per pound. Mix one pound at a time for 3 minutes and then by hand until the meat gets like a stringy pate. Place it in a 1 Qt. freezer bag and leave in the frig overnight.

Sausage Casings
Standard 32-35 hog casings packed in salt.  Two casings covered three lbs. of pork.  Soak the casings in cold water and change out the water several times.  They should soak at least an hour. 

In a jar mix these seasonings.  Use 3.5 teaspoons of seasoning per pound of pork.
4 tsp. sea salt
3 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
3 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. mace
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ginger

You will have extra but it is better to have more to adjust the taste the next day during the second mix.

Stuff the casings and then twist the stuffed casings into sausage lengths ~4 inches.  Place them in the frig overnight.  They need a baste in the seasonings overnight and maintain the form of the casing.

Cooking Bangers

I used a corn holder to poke 6-to-8 pinholes in the sausage.  This is done to keep the sausage from splitting and popping open.  Either slowly boil then fry or slowly fry the sausage 5 minutes on each side in oil to brown.  Bake in a oven 30 minutes at 350º.   Serve over mashed potatoes, sautéed onions in butter and cover in brown gravy. 

As of 10/12/2021

Leek and Potato Soup

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Serves 2

1 leek, keep some of the green leaves for color, slice long ways a couple of times and rinse the dirt from the inner parts of the leek and chop
1 ½ Lbs. Russet potatoes with skin on and coarsely chop
½ yellow onion chopped
3 to 4 cups chicken broth
Salt & White pepper
Dash of Tarragon
1 TBSP Olive oil
2 TBSP butter

Sauté the leeks, potatoes, and onion in olive oil 10 minutes on medium heat.

Add the chicken stock and reduce the liquid 20 minutes.

Ladle the soup into a food mill with a medium milling disk.  Mill the soup removing the stringy parts of the leek and return the milled soup to the soup pot.  Add the butter and with a hand blender blend the butter and the soup.  Return to the heat, add the Tarragon and heat until hot and serve. 

Serve with dinner rolls.

Vichyssoise: Serve this soup cold with a dash of cream. Vichyssoise is an American invention in America in 1917 and named after the French town of Vichy.

As of 9/29/21

Baked Cod with White Cheddar and Parmesan Cheese

2 cod fillets
½ cup mayo or Kewpie (Japanese mayonnaise)
2 green onions
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup grated White Cheddar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Mix mayo, green onion, Parmesan, cheddar cheese and Worcestershire sauce. 

Oil small 8” square baking dish cook the fish.  Bake oven to 400°.  Baked fish 15/20 min.

I served this with garlic and olive oil couscous.