Terry and I visited Terry Lee at Outside on 12th street in Over the Rhine on Saturday. You see, both Terrys are from Alabama– within an hour or two of each other– and spent a good amount of time talking about stuff from home. By then end of an hour, Terry Lee got invited to my Thanksgiving dinner, we all got a hankering for barbecue, and Terry was sent home with some maple chips for his smoker.
After a big lunch at Pit to Plate, we drove up to Jungle Jim’s and picked up a duck. They had frozen ducks, completely prepared, but since we wanted to smoke the duck tomorrow, we went with a non-frozen duck: a Confucian duck.
That means it was a whole duck, just defeathered and, you know, dead. I had the butcher chop off the head (sorry, I’m not too squeamish but the head is a little much) and we took it back to Terry’s to become a yummy smoked duck, as he’s the one with the smoker and I didn’t want to find the cats playing with duck guts. You think they wouldn’t.
I decided to tweet about the experience, because it was pretty darn amusing.
Smoking a duck today. Only wine to touch my lips will be the stuff the duck is marinated in. I SWEAR.
I have to eviscerate a duck today. Maybe I will be drinking wine.
Google “eviscerate duck” No. “prepare duck”. No. “gut duck”. Hot damn!
I can’t get my hand up this duck’s ass. Dammit.
Duck frozen inside. While up to my wrist in duck guts, BF hands me garbage can: “For the duck’s guts or yours, whichever come up first.”
Duck update: Bought duck because it was not frozen. LIARS. Finishing up gutting once upper duck anatomy is thawed. Drinking wine now.
Back to the duck gutting.
OK. Backbone removed, heart and lungs removed (lungs HARD. really.). Soaking in milk. Relax time!
@YatPundit If you check back in my tweets, you’ll see today’s Duck Saga. Julie 1, Duck 0.
@ChasingPolly Jungle Jim’s has nothing on duck guts. It was this or watch the Bengals lose. I choose duck guts.
Duck nearly finished with its milk bath. Big bowl of milk and blood. Call me Elizabeth Bathory.
Duck now drying. Preparing rub.
In my excitement to take out the backbone, I did it backwards. It was a very skilled de-breast-boning, because the breasts are intact. Whew
Duck now on smoker with maple chips, apple juice and beer. Happy duck.
naptime while smoking happens.
Great. Water in the smoker is boiling, but temp gauge only says 200. We’ll see how this works out.
Hands still smell like duck blood, despite loads of washing. Or is it my guilty conscience making me imagine things? Out, damn spot!
Duck is out of the smoker, about to go into the oven for a few minutes to crisp the skin.
Currently eating duck. Slightly overdone (will tweak times next time) but OH so great. Worth the duck guts.
As you can see, yes, it was overdone and yes, it was boned incorrectly, but it was good all the same. The sauce is apple cider and granacha (the smoking liquid), reduced and thickened with a bit of flour. Terry deemed it a bit too sweet upon first tasting, but it went well with the duck. The maple in the smoker added a nice complexity that was subtle and not overwhelming.
I’ll definitely be smoking duck again, but I think next time I’ll leave the gutting to the professionals. I’m sure that my Twitter friends will appreciate it.