Searing the duck breasts in a skillet after smoking gives them delicious crisp skin. You can substitute apples, plums, or peaches for the mangos.
Extra: To learn more, watch a video series where Robert Danhi demonstrates his tea-smoking technique.
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Prepare a medium-high gas or charcoal grill fire. Clean and oil the grill grate; set aside. Set the tea-smoking packet directly on the hot coals or on top of a metal burner shield. Put the grate back on the grill and close the lid. On a charcoal grill, leave the vents partially open and wait for smoke to rise from the vents. On a gas grill, wait 10 minutes, then open the lid to check for smoke. If there is none, close the lid and check again in a few minutes.
Meanwhile, with a sharp knife, trim any silver-skin from the duck breasts and score the skin in a diamond pattern without cutting all the way through to the meat. Pat dry with paper towels and season generously all over with salt and pepper.
Arrange the breasts skin side up on the grill grate so they’re not directly over the packet, and then close the lid. Smoke the duck until the skin turns an uneven amber-brown color on the edges, 15 to 17 minutes (the skin side will still be uncooked). Remove from the grill.
Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat, add the smoked duck breasts skin side down and cook slowly, undisturbed, until some fat renders, the skin gets deep brown and crisp, and the breasts are cooked to medium-rare or medium doneness (an instant-read thermometer inserted into a breast should read 135°F to 140°F), 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board skin side up and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly.
Divide and arrange the salad and then the duck on 4 plates; sprinkle with the peanuts.
We love this way of cooking duck breasts. I'm allergic to mango, and substitute with not-quite-ripe peaches or nectarines. It's delicious.
Great recipe. The smokiness really comes through and finishing the duck in the pan gives a nice crispy skin. The mango basil salad was the perfect compliment to the duck. We may try to adapt this one for an hors d'oeuvre, possibly on a sweet potato chip, for our Christmas party.
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