Over the last couple of weeks we have being experimenting with whiskey and tobacco flavours for food. The results have been amazing. Using alcoholic drinks in recipes or smoking food are not new concepts at all but in the MWC kitchen we are definitely pushing the limits. This was one cooking session that was completely adults only. I took a bus to Dublin for some of my ingredients. My first stop was the well established James Fox tobacco and whiskey emporium for some aromatic pipe tobacco. The staff there where more than helpful in helping me find the perfect blend I was searching for. If you are a connoisseur of wine, whiskey or tobacco then you will be familiar with the different smells and tastes they evoke. For example some red wines can smell of cherries, some whiskeys can have a caramel taste and some tobaccos can smell like sultanas or dried fruit. When you find these strong dominating smells and tastes it makes perfect sense for me to incorporate them into food. Pairing drinks with meals is a fantastic experience. Having white wine with fish or red wine with red meat is common practice but I say step out of your comfort zone and try and match a different drink with your meal. It will add to the overall sensory experience of eating a delicious meal.
Please drink responsibly and make yourself aware of the risks from tobacco related products.
2 duck breasts
Dry long grain rice
Rice wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Use an old roasting tray for this dish. Line the tray with tinfoil. Place a cup of rice in the centre of the tray. Sprinkle half a cup of the tobacco on top of the rice. The rice will prevent the tobacco from catching fire. Place the roasting rack into the tray with the unseasoned duck breasts on top. Make a well sealed tinfoil tent over the roasting tray. For the next part I used our gas kettle drum barbecue, outside, to prevent our kitchen stinking of smoke.
Place the tray in the centre of the barbecue. And heat on a medium heat for 40 minutes. Check the duck after 25 minutes for an internal temperature with your meat thermometer. Once the temperature reaches 60C you are okay to remove the duck from the smoker. Finish off the duck in a pan or under the grill until the skin is crisp. Ensure that your finished ducks internal temperature is 65C before eating. Thinly slice the cucumber and put it into a bowl. Add in 3 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey, mix and allow to rest in the fridge until you are ready to serve. In a separate bowl, make your sauce by mixing 3 tablespoons of each hoisin sauce, shiracha and ketchup. Season duck with salt and pepper. Serve up your duck now with the pickled cucumber and spicy hoisin sauce.