Smoked Barbecued Duck with Pecan Stuffing
The smoky and spicy flavor of the duck combined with a slightly sweet and crunchy stuffing make this dish interesting. The barbecue sauce can also be used with any grilled or broiled meat or poultry, and the stuffing can be used for any roasted bird. Everything up to the finishing of the dish can be done up to 2 days in advance. Bring the stuffing and ducks to room temperature for an hour before finishing. A covered charcoal grill can be used for the smoking process; place some water-soaked wood chips on coals pushed to one side of the grill.
- Barbecue Sauce
- Bacon slices - 4, chopped
- Onion - 1/4, chopped
- Green Bell Pepper or Poblano chili - 1/4, seeded, deribbed, and chopped
- Tomato - 1, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- Garlic Cloves - 2, peeled and chopped
- Apple cider vinegar - 3/4 cup
- Honey - 1/2 cup
- Red Chili Sauce - 1-1/4 cups
- Tomato paste - 2 tablespoons
- Brown Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Chili powder - 1 tablespoon
- Orange Juice - 1 quart
- Water - 1 quart
- Salt - 1/3 cup
- Oranges - 3, halved, with peels on
- Limes - 2, halved, with peels on
- Honey - 2 cups
- Pickling Spice - 1/4 cup
- Fresh Ducks - two, 5-1/2-pound, Two 5-1/2-pound fresh ducks, preferably Long Island
- Pecan Stuffing
- Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup (1 stick)
- Shallots - 8, peeled and minced
- Pecans - 1-1/4 cups, chopped
- Sponge cake - 7/8 pound
- Chicken Stock - 1/2 cup, heated
- Eggs - 2, lightly beaten
- Fresh Parsley - 3 tablespoons, minced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
To prepare the barbecue sauce. Saute the bacon until crisp in a large saucepan, then add the onion and peppers. Saute for 3 minutes, then add the tomato and garlic and continue to saute until the onion is translucent. Add the vinegar and cook until reduced by one-half. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well, and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour, or until the sauce is thickened. Puree in small batches; refrigerate until ready to use.
To prepare the marinating brine: Combine all the ingredients for the brine and bring to a boil. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes, then allow to cool before using (this can be done a day in advance, since sitting in the refrigerator will improve the flavors).
To prepare the ducks: Cut the wings and tail sections from the ducks and remove excess fat from the necks and cavities. Marinate the ducks in the brine for 4 to 6 hours in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 300 F. Light the grill; when the coals are hot, add several pieces of soaked mesquite wood. Drain the ducks, then place them in the smoker, ideally at 140 F. Smoke the ducks for 15 minutes, then place them in the oven and roast for 30 minutes.
Allow the ducks to cool, then split each into 2 pieces, removing the backbone and freeing the carcass by severing the leg and wing joints. Remove the thigh and wing bones.
To make the stuffing: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly butter a baking dish. Melt the butter in a saute pan or skillet and add the shallots. Saute until lightly browned, then add the pecans and saute briefly. Allow to cool. Cut the cake into small dice and combine with the nut-butter mixture. Moisten with chicken stock and add the eggs and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the mixture in the prepared baking dish and bake for 15 minutes, stirring a few times, until heated through.
To finish the duck: Brush the duck halves with barbecue sauce and roast for 10 minutes in the oven with the stuffing.
To serve: Place two duck halves on each serving plate and place a scoop of stuffing beside the duck. Serve with extra barbecue sauce.