Traditionally prepared with a whole duck, this updated stir-fry lends duck breasts a gentle, caramelized smokiness. It first appeared in our December 2013 issue along with David McAninch's article The World of Duck.
- 2 tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 tbsp. Sichuan peppercorns
- 2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
- 2 lb. boneless skin-on duck breasts (about 2 large)
- 2 tbsp. shaoxing wine or dry sherry
- 1⁄2 cup long-grain white rice
- 1⁄2 cup loose-leaf black tea, such as Ceylon or Darjeeling
- 1⁄2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 star anise
- 2 tsp. peanut oil
- 8 oz. shiitake mushrooms
- 8 oz. baby bok choy, trimmed and quartered lengthwise
- 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1 (2") piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 1⁄3 cup duck or chicken stock
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 3 fresh small Thai red chiles, thinly sliced
Grind salt and peppercorns in a spice grinder into a powder. Toss duck with spice mixture and wine in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; chill overnight.
Next day, rinse duck and pat completely dry with paper towels. Place skin side down on a stove-top smoker rack set over a baking sheet and cover with a paper towel; set aside to air-dry, about 2 hours.
Line bottom of smoker with aluminum foil. Pile rice, tea, brown sugar, and star anise in center of smoker; arrange rack with duck over top, discard paper towel, and close lid. Place over high heat until you see wisps of smoke, 3–5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; smoke duck until cooked to desired doneness, 25–30 minutes for medium-rare. Let duck cool slightly, then transfer, skin side down, to a 12" skillet. Place over medium-high heat; cook, without flipping, until skin is crisp, 3–5 minutes. Rest duck 5 minutes, then thinly slice; set aside.
Add peanut oil to skillet; return to medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook until golden, 3–5 minutes. Add bok choy, sesame oil, and ginger; cook until slightly wilted, 1–2 minutes. Stir in stock, granulated sugar, and soy sauce; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thick, 3–4 minutes. Stir in sliced duck and chiles.