We used home-killed duck and goose breasts, which were of indeterminate age. Young, commercially available breasts will be more tender. To smoke, you can build a simple smoker out of bricks – you just need a fire at the base, some air holes at the bottom, a lid, and a way to suspend the duck in the smoke.
- 10 duck or goose breasts
- 300 g salt
- 2 litres water
- herbs and spices, such as peppercorns, bay leaves, juniperberries, garlic, thyme
- chemical free sawdust from hardwood such as gum
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time overnight
Drying time 1–2 hours
Trim the breasts to neaten. Dissolve the salt in water (you can heat it to do this) and add any herbs you feel like then immerse the breasts. We left ours for several days, but you could just do it overnight.
To smoke the breasts, drain them well and air dry on a rack for an hour or two. It’s best if you don’t let the dog near them at this stage.
Light a fire, let it burn down to coals, and add the sawdust, just a handful to start. You may want to burn the sawdust in a dish. I have done it in a wok over a flame, using a round cake rack to hold the duck above the smoke, and a big lid on the wok to hold the smoke in.
Smoke the duck until it is cooked to about medium. The trick is to balance the amount of smoke and heat, so it doesn’t end up too smoky, or too cooked and not smoky enough.
Slice thinly, across the grain, and serve with a lightly dressed salad.