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Talkin' Smokin'

d
Dax Nov 15, 2004 09:03 AM

for the walking bird day, we'll be smoking a bird, frying a bird, probably smoking a shoulder too. Without getting out of hand, would a smoked duck or a smoked goose be better? Maybe we''ll just do the fried bird, smoked shoulder and smoked goose/duck.

thanks in advance,

Dax

PS> Would you brine the duck/goose?

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    applehome Nov 15, 2004 01:55 PM

    I don't know the people numbers, but you might consider not doing a whole duck/goose, but a couple (or more) of duck breasts. I've been doing these for a while, and served sliced thin with the crispy skin & fat intact, they go over really, really big as finger food/appetizers.

    I've brined, not brined, dry rubbed... several combinations. Brining is tricky - my personal experience is that the brined meat turns to mush. That's ok for some things (smoked fish) but others need a good touch to get it so that it retains moisture and flavor (the alleged purpose of brining) but doesn't make the meat a uniform, no-grained texture. I guess I like my meat to bite back a little.

    I also found that wild (Muscovy) ducks are very different from the common farmed raised ones - I haven't had much luck with the wild ones. The gaminess really needs another treatment that I don't know how to do - smoking by itself actually intensifies that gaminess and does nothing to enhance the flavor.

    Try a couple of duck breasts ahead - dry rub and smoke (skin up - a water pan is good to have to catch the fat)- at 175-200, but not too much - they are best when still pink. If you need to crisp up the skin, put it in a hot pan, skin down (this will render a lot of fat that didn't come out during the smoking process), but once again, don't overcook.

    Let cool, slice thinly across and serve plain.

    4 Replies
    1. re: applehome
      d
      Dax Nov 15, 2004 03:25 PM

      Thanks. You are in Boston, right? Where do you buy your duck? I've mostly only seen whole ducks in the usual stores around here.

      1. re: Dax
        g
        GretchenS Nov 15, 2004 04:17 PM

        Super 88 in Allston has duck breasts and duck legs in the frozen section opposite the butcher *most* of the time. They are a bit on the small side but very tasty and relatively reasonable. Wilson Farms (Lexington) has *fabulous* but expensive duck breasts packed two whole breasts to the package -- it doesn't say what kind they are but I think they are Long Island. Whole Foods Fresh Pond usually has muscovy duck breasts (which are great sauteed) although I gather Applehome doesn't think they are good for smoking.

        1. re: GretchenS
          d
          Dax Nov 16, 2004 01:56 PM

          Thanks to both of you!

          I have an 88 right by me and can try the Allston one if that one doesn't have them.

        2. re: Dax
          a
          applehome Nov 16, 2004 12:03 AM

          I'm northwest - by Lowell. I buy the frozen breasts at Butcher Boy in N. Andover. I've seen them in some Stop&Shops as well, but not consistently.

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