With the new smoker in hand I knew that duck meat would soon be on the list of things to accomplish.
Fortunately a photo shoot with FireFly Vodka brought this venture to the forefront. I hate buying specific pieces of an animal, especially birds. Why buy chicken or duck breasts for a high price when you can have the whole bird for the same price as two breasts. I order a whole duck and prepared the breasts for the photo shoot. The legs I cured in a confit fashion with brown sugar, maple extract, salt, pepper, thyme, and smoked paprika. After 24 hours in cure I washed the legs off and set them in the smoker at 300 F for just about two hours with an equal mix of pecan, hickory, and apple wood. The results were fantastic, much better than I had imagined they would be. The skin of the leg was crisp and brown almost like a Peking Duck skin, and the meat was a rust color with the combination of brown from the sugar and meat, and the red of the paprika. The flavor was rich with a hint of sweet saltiness and good blessing of smoke. This practice is something I am certain to keep up with in the future. I can imagine it turning into a smoked duck leg sandwich with pomegranate molasses barbecue sauce.
— matt bolus