This is a tale of two ducks.
We've made smoked duck twice, now, and both times it has been fantastic. It has most definitely earned a slot on our difficult-to-gain-entry-to repeat meal rotation.
The way a duck takes on color during cooking is amazing. Here is a bird going onto the smoker - pristine and white, it awaits the transformation that is about to come:
And the same bird coming off around four hours later:
The slices of moist, flavorful meat make for an almost dizzying array of delicious morsels on a platter.
But what of our tale of two ducks? The first, pictured above, was cooked somewhat less. It resulted in a more rare, dark-colored meat - more like what you would get with a nicely-cooked rare duck breast.
The second was cooked a bit longer. The meat was lighter in color, but surprisingly no less juicy - low and slow has its benefits! The main difference was an improvement in the taste and texture of the fat - while the fat was tasty in the less-cooked duck, it really shined in the more slowly and completely cooked bird.
Regardless of the cooking details (which we will certainly continue to play with), smoked duck is a dish that is here to stay.