I’ve been meaning to have a go at smoking duck with earl grey tea for ages as I love the flavour of bergamot and so I fashioned a steamer from a roasting tray, a cooling rack and some tin foil. I threw in some lemon zest and lavender stems and it came together really well, producing delicately perfumed, succulent duck. Thankfully, the lavender and bergamot were still discernible but not overpowering, a total fluke on my part.
Earl Grey and Lavender Smoked Duck
2 duck breasts
A generous grind of black pepper
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 star anise
The zest of 1 lemon
25g earl grey tea leaves
4oz golden caster sugar
A few sprigs of lavender, I used dried and stripped the flowers from the stems to yield about a heaped tablespoon
Your choice of fillings – we used mango, cucumber, spring onions and coriander leaves.
Preheat the oven to Gas6/200C/400F
– Score the fat of the duck in a criss-cross pattern, taking care not to slice through the meat. Mix together the salt, pepper, ginger and star anise, spread over the duck and allow to marinate for a couple of hours if possible.
– If you have a wok with a lid and a rack that sits inside, double line the bottom with heavy duty foil and do the same for the lid, leaving an overhang at the edges so that you can seal it tightly during cooking.
– Mix together the tea leaves, lavender, lemon zest and sugar and sprinkle over the bottom of the wok in an even layer. Set the rack inside, put the duck on it and heat on medium until wisps of smoke start to appear.
– Reduce the heat to low, add the lid and seal tightly, crimping the foil together like a pasty around the edges.
– Smoke for 10 minutes. Towards the end of this time, begin heating an oven proof frying pan or skillet. When the 10 minutes are up, remove the duck from the wok and put into the frying pan, rendering the fat down for about 5 minutes or so until golden brown and crispy.
– Put the duck in the oven, skin side up, for 5 minutes then remove and allow to cool to room temperature. Slice and serve with your chosen fillings.
If your wok does not have a rack, like ours, use something like a roasting tin with a cooling rack inside it and then make a domed lid using foil.