Game is a great product to smoke. It’s a traditional way of preserving food and provides something different and delicious to be eaten during the summer months. This duck was the last of the teal that I shot during the winter, so I wanted to do something special with it. There wasn’t much meat, so I added value by smoking it stuffed with Mediterranean vegetables and served with a mozzarella and tomato salad.
Teal – red peppers – garlic
Sun-dried tomato – basil
Mozzarella – tomato – olive oil
1. Dry the duck well and stuff it with chopped peppers, garlic, sun-dried tomato and chopped basil. Leave the rear end open.
2. Truss the bird on to a spike, oil and salt the skin and suspend inside your smoker. Make sure that the smoker is not too hot.
3. Periodically check the bird with a small skewer to see whether the meat is smoking and the flavours are permeating throughout the meat. The teal and stuffed vegetables took two hours or so to smoke on my improvised smoker.
My method of improvised smoking is really a very slow barbecuing, but using plenty of smoke. To smoke game properly you need a smoker. You could buy, borrow, make one or improvise, as I did. I used the type of barbecue that has a cover, or the kettle type.
Once you have lit the barbecue, ensure that there are no flames and that the coals have gone white. When they are white, cover them with plenty of wet (or buy pre-soaked) woodchips. As you go along, you can add more woodchips. For a great flavour, add some green wood from a pruned olive tree. Ensure that the meat is never in contact with the wire frames. Juices should not drip down on to the coals – place an old metal tray under the bird to catch any juices. The length of time you should smoke your duck for depends on the temperature of the smoker.
Keep the lid on as much as possible, otherwise you risk the whole lot igniting and then you will have flame-grilled duck instead! After smoking let the bird rest at room temperature, then slice thinly or freeze to use for another time.