Kamado Joe: Black Pepper, Juniper Berry and Plum Barbecued Duck

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Why is duck not cooked as much chicken ? Maybe people are put off because they think it is difficult and there is higher risk of getting it wrong. Duck in the oven can dry out which is why I only ever BBQ my duck and the results are delicious. The beauty of using a ceramic BBQ (I refer to mine as my outdoor AGA) is that you can use the Kamado Joe as a traditional BBQ or by using the heat deflector plates turn it into a Low & Slow cooker which is ideal for duck. By using this method all the fat breaks down, the skin crisps beautifully and the duck is tender, juicy and succulent. I also did my asparagus, broccoli, fennel, roast potatoes on my Kamado Joe…. recipes coming soon.

How to cook Duck on a Kamado Joe

I roasted and then crushed 1 tablespoon of both pepper corns and juniper berries. At the same time I “pricked” the duck around the thighs and fatty parts of the duck. It is really important to do this as it allows the fat to break down, I then rubbed sea salt butter over the duck  and then covered the duck in peppercorns and juniper berries.

The giblets I kept aside for my gravy.

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I stuffed the duck with a couple of fresh plums, as duck and plums are a natural combination but also the plum juices adds both flavour and moisture to the duck.

For the gravy I chopped very roughly 5 large mushrooms, 1 large onion, 2 celery sticks and both red and green pepper. I put all of this into an aluminium tray, added the giblets and about 2 pints of water.

I fired up my Kamado Joe and once it hit 300 F I placed the aluminium tray on the lower setting (sitting on the heat deflector plates), placed the grill tray over the plates, added my duck and left cooking gently for 3 hours. Normally I would say there was no need to open the Kamado Joe once you had started cooking, but as I was also doing my gravy I would suggest checking at least once an hour that the water in the gravy has not cooked off. If it looks a little low add more water, if the tray runs dry all you are going to do is burn the gravy mix and that is a real shame.

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After about three hours I took the duck off and left to rest, this allows all the juices to re-absorb back into the meat.

With the gravy I simply poured the entire content of the tray (minus neck) into a blender, added a tablespoon of vegetable stock and blitzed. The gravy is ready but can be a little grainy so I passed it through a fine colander and was left with a very smooth and tasty gravy. Before serving re-heat and add a large knob of butter for extra creaminess.

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As you bite into the duck, you get the flavour of the duck, succulent and juicy, with the sharp and peppery kick of the pepper corns and juniper berries balanced with the sweetness of the roasted plums. In my opinion a great combination.

Using a Kamado Joe Ceramic BBQ not only cooks the duck gently but also adds a delicious charcoal cooked flavour. I wouldn’t dream of cooking a duck in the oven ever again, not after tasting the difference using my Kamado Joe.

Enjoy

Cornelius

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