Dinner tonight was a little bit more fancy than usual 😀

I was thinking during the week to try to cook duck as I have never cooked it before. So I looked for a duck dish recipe and found what I thought I would like. The recipe is from the Masterchef cookbook (from Masterchef Australia TV show) – Thanks Marc for the book 😀

In this dish, the duck is smoked before pan frying. Great, I have never smoked anything before either :D. It’s gonna be an exciting time to prepare this dish. Lucky for me, Ig was happy to help me 😀

Tea-smoked duck breast

(adapted from recipe by Pete Evans, the Cookbook Masterchef Australia, volume one)

(serves 2)

  • 2 duck breast fillets
  • 3 cups (120 gr) baby spinach leaves

Tea smoking mixture

  • ½ cup (40 gr) jasmine tea leaves
  • zest of 1½ oranges, cut in wide strips
  • ½ cup jasmine rice
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 whole star-anise
  • ½ tablespoon whole black pepper

Orange sauce

  • 1½ tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) orange juice
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • finely grated zest of ½ orange
  • 25 gr butter, diced

Step 1. Score the duck skin with a criss-cross pattern. To smoke the duck, line a wok or frying pan with foil, then place the combined tea smoking mixture onto the foil. Turn on the heat to medium and wait for the mixture to start to smoke. Once smoking, place duck breasts, skin side down, on a rack that fits into the wok or pan. Cover with a lid (I used a wok to cover :D) and cook for 20 mins (I want the duck to be well done, if you like it medium, reduce the smoking time).

Score the duck skin

Tea smoking mixture

Place the duck on a rack over the tea smoking mixture

Smoking process

Step 2. To make the orange sauce, place sugar in a cold pan and melt it down slowly, taking care not to burn. Add vinegar and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Add orange juice and bring to the boil. Reduce heat slightly and simmer until reduced by half. Add stock and simmer again until reduced by half. Add orange zest and whisk in butter. Season to taste.

Orange sauce ingredients

Orange sauce ready

Step 3. Preheat the oven to 160ºC. After the smoking is done, place the duck skin side down in a hot frying pan (oven-proof pan) and cook until fat has rendered (melted) and skin is crispy (about 3 minutes).

Duck breasts after smoking

Pan frying the duck breast skin side down

Step 4. Turn the duck and cook for 3 minutes. Place the pan into the oven and cook for about 10-15 minutes. If you like the duck medium, omit cooking in the oven. Transfer to a plate to rest for a few minutes.

Turn over and cook for a further 3 minutes

Step 5. Remove some of the oil from the pan, heat the pan over medium fire. Add spinach and cook until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper, then strain off any excess liquid.

Wilted spinach

Step 6. Slice the duck breasts and arrange on serving plates with the spinach. Serve with mashed potato. Drizzle with the orange sauce.

Tea-smoked duck breast served with mashed potato and spinach

It’s delicious…!! The duck is very tender and flavoursome and the orange sauce is a gem and compliments the duck very very well.