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The Demise of “Daffy”

As we normally do with new recipes, we needed a pair of guinea pigs… in this case, Barbara & Brett we our experiment for the evening.  Brett’s reply to the invitation seemed positive – “…will bring red wine and a hankering for daffy…” The pressure was on.

The recipe was a simple as they come.  Believe it or not, the only seasoning the duck required was salt and pepper.  The rendered fat and port glaze in the last 10 minutes produced nothing short of a brilliant taste.

Here’s how I prepped “Daffy” for the roast:

Duck with Port Wine Glaze (Serves 4)

  1. One $13 Singapore Duck – about 5 pounds

  2. Kosher salt

  3. Black pepper

  4. Hickory wood chips for smoking

For the glaze:

  1. 1 ¼ cups port wine

  2. 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  3. 4 sprigs of fresh thyme

1) Prepare the duck – one trick that my dear friend Mayeth taught me was to clean out the duck’s oil glands (just above the tail) – I wouldn’t have known that if it hadn’t been for her.

2) Using a knife, cross hatch across the entire bird and then liberally poke holes through the skin of the duck and into the fatty layer. Try to avoid poking all the way through the meat. This allows a path for the fat to drip out as the bird cooks. Also looks very fancy once the grilling is done.

3) Sprinkle each side of the duck with salt and black pepper.

4) Set up your Big Green Egg for for indirect cooking, putting in the plate setter legs up, with a drip pan sitting on the plate setter. I used hickory chips to add smoke flavor, and brought the temperature up to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. This was the tough part – took me about 45 minutes to get the temperature down to 225 – with a little patience and a few cold beers, anything is possible.

5) Put the duck on a v rack and place it on the grid. Make sure that the duck is completely over the drip pan, or you will make a huge mess. Also, remember to cook it breast side down, to allow more of the fat to drip off.

6) While the duck is smoking happily, prepare the glaze by combining the ingredients in a saucepan, and reducing over low heat until about 25% is remaining. Set aside.

7) Smoke the meat at 225 degrees for at least 4 hours, or until the internal temperature comes up to about 15