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Tea-Brined Mahogany Duck

By

Adapted recipe by Leitesculinaria
Original recipe by Mary Karlin | Wood Fired Cooking

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Rate this recipe 4.4/5 (5 Votes)

Ingredients

  • For the tea brine
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup Darjeeling or oolong tea leaves
  • 3 slices fresh ginger
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Two 3-pound ducks, or one 5-pound roasting chicken
  • For the basting sauce
  • 1 cup reserved tea brine
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey

Details

Preparation

Step 1

Make the brine:

Combine the water, tea leaves, ginger, and star anise in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let steep for 30 minutes. In a large nonreactive container, combine the steeped tea, soy sauce, and honey and stir until the honey is dissolved. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Add the bird(s) to the brine; refrigerate ducks for 4 hours, chicken for 6 hours. Keep the bird(s) submerged by placing a plate on top to weight down and at a temperature of not more than 40°F (4°C). Remove from the brine 1 hour before cooking. Rinse and pat dry.

Prepare a medium-hot fire 400°F (200°C) in a wood-fired oven or cooker.

Make the basting sauce:

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until the honey is dissolved.

Roast in a box roaster:
Place the bird(s) breast side down on a wire roasting rack in a roasting pan or clay baker and baste with the basting sauce. Light the charwood once the bird(s) is in place. Roast, covered, with indirect heat for 1 hour. Being careful not to pierce the skin, turn over, baste, and roast for 30 to 45 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in a thigh registers 175° to 180°F (79°C to 82°C).

Roast in a wood-fired oven or ceramic cooker:
Place the bird(s) breast side down in a roasting pan and baste with the basting sauce. Roast for 1 hour. Being careful not to pierce the skin, turn over, baste, and roast for 30 to 45 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in a thigh registers 175° to 180°F (79°C to 82°C).

Let sit for 10 minutes before carving and serving.

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