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Festive Smoked Duck with Orange

Give this recipe a try and discover just how easy it is to make your own smoked duck at home. It has a beautiful orangey smell which makes it feel very Christmassy.


2 duck breasts with skin, about 200g each

50g salted butter

The cure

120g quality salt

120g demarara sugar

10g black peppercorns, freshly cracked

10 juniper berries, lightly bruised

4 fresh bay leaves, torn

zest of 1 whole orange

For smoking

2 handfuls of food standard cherry wood sawdust (


1 deep roasting tray

1 rack or trivet that fits inside the tray



Mix all the cure ingredients together in a bowl.

Place the duck breasts in a sealable container and sprinkle all of the cure mixture, making sure that the whole surface area of each duck breast has contact with the cure mixture. container and leave in the fridge for 30 mins. It is important you cover each duck breast sufficiently with the cure mixture before it is covered and placed in the fridge. After 30 mins you will see that some moisture has been drawn out of the duck breast.

Remove the duck and under a cold running tap, gently wash off any of the cure mixture from each one. This should only take a few seconds. Pat the duck breast dry using a clean tea towel.

Place the cherry sawdust in the roasting tray so that it roughly covers the bottom. Put the rack or trivet on top of the sawdust and then the duck breasts on the rack so they are sitting above the sawdust. Cover with foil so that there is a little bit of room over the duck breast but the edges are pinched to the sides of the roasting tray. Place the tray on a gas hob with a moderate heat and smoke for 5-7 mins. Remove the duck breast from the roasting tray, they will be coloured but not fully cooked at this stage.

Place them skin side down in a cold frying pan and gently heat them so that the duck fat starts to render. Add in the butter and continue cooking for 6-8 mins so that the skin is crispy before flipping it over on the non-skin side. Cook for a further 2-4 mins or until the internal temperature reaches 57 degrees C for medium rare. Remove from the heat and leave to rest for 10 mins. Slice and serve.