Tea Smoked Duck with Seville Orange Sauce
Tea smoked duck with seville orange sauce just might be the perfect recipe for effortlessly elegant entertaining. This pretty, special occasion dish is incredibly quick and easy. Make the sauce and smoke the duck in advance. Then, simply sear the breasts in a hot skillet to crisp and brown the exterior of the meat!
Over the years, I’ve frequently yielded to the temptation to overdo special occasion menus. And, I’m sorry to say, I’ve often lived to regret it. Entertaining while frazzled is rarely any fun for the host or hostess, and it certainly dampens guests’ enjoyment as well.
In fact, my eldest son’s first birthday haunts my memory as a clear example of what not to do. My husband and I were still both learning how to entertain together.
Coming from different cultures, we each had different ideas about what was appropriate. I wanted to stay with a tightly scripted, themed menu, while my husband wanted to have an abundant table with myriad dishes of all sorts for guests to choose from.
We both compromised. The result was a disaster. We ended up with a menu that felt like a hodgepodge, and a groaning table of dishes that were impossible for our guests (or us) to finish. By the time the food was served, I was frazzled and frustrated. I’m sure everything went out at the wrong temperature. And, frankly, all I remember about the day now was feeling disappointed and embarrassed by the spread we laid out.
From that day on, I vowed not to over-complicate special occasions. I have strived ever since to do as much as possible well in advance and to create generous menus that would feel as relaxed for me as for my guests.
That is where dishes like this simple tea smoked duck in Seville orange sauce come in. It’s lovely to be able to do most of the heavy lifting before guests arrive so that the meal itself is relaxed and pleasurable for everyone — including the cook. Best of all, this is one easy dish that feels like a decadently naughty spoil.
What Is Tea Smoking?
Tea smoking is a classic Chinese cooking technique. It is a quick, almost effortless, way to add flavour to chicken, duck, seafood, tofu, and certain vegetables.
If you’re new to tea smoking, you’ll be glad to learn that one of its advantages is the fact that no special equipment is required. A wok, a round rack (or steamer basket), a lid, and some aluminium foil are all that’s required.
You simply line the wok with a couple of layers of aluminium foil (to make it easy to remove the smoking ingredients & preserve your wok’s finish). Then, you add your smoking mixture — typically a combination of tea leaves, rice, and aromatics. Finally, you set the wok over high heat until the ingredients begin to smoke. Then, place the ingredients on the rack and smoke for as long as you wish to achieve the desired flavour.
About this Recipe
This recipe is very quick and easy. Nonetheless, I have a couple of suggestions to ensure your success.
You must be careful when cooking duck breast, as overcooked duck becomes tough and unappealing. Properly cooked duck breast will have crispy golden brown skin, and a pink interior.
In order to achieve this, you will want to smoke the duck for just 15 minutes. This will impart a delicate smokey flavour and the fat will begin to render as the duck breasts smoke. Then, cook the breasts skin side down in a medium hot skillet for about 5 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown and crisp. Flip the breasts and cook them for another 5 minutes or just until the internal temperature registers 60º C (140º F).
Then, remove the duck breasts from the skillet. Tent them with foil and set them aside to rest for about 10 minutes prior to slicing. It’s just that easy.
Other than getting the duck right, this recipe is super easy. I hope you enjoy this tasty and simple for tea smoked duck breast with seville orange sauce every bit as much as my family does. Bon appétit!