038/18: Szechuan Peppered Duck Breast

038/18: Szechuan Peppered Duck Breast

038/18 – Szechuan Peppered Duck Breast:

Dinner for one is always an opportunity to try something a bit different. I remembered I had a duck breast in the freezer and was going to grill it but then thought about cooking it on cast iron in the Uuni. My brain kept thinking of Szechuan duck so I must have seen a recipe at some point. A quick google provided Szechuan Peppered Duck Breast – recipe by Mark Hix

I am a big fan of Szechuan pepper, there is a great dish by Ching He Huang where there is so much Szechuan pepper in the dish it numbs your face! My wife is not so keen so this was a good chance for me to whack some extra Szechuan pepper in the dish!

I have only cooked Duck Breast out of the kitchen once before:

BBQ08/17: Chargrilled Duck Breast with Peas, Broad Beans and Hot Mint Sauce

The Meat:

I love the chicken from Gartmorn Farm. Slow growing birds, raised in good conditions resulting in the most amazing tasting chicken, something quite rare these days. A few weeks back I put an order in for more Chicken and added a duck breast in at the time – £6.25 for 380g.

038/18: Szechuan Peppered Duck Breast

The Ingredients:

I didn’t follow the whole recipe, just the duck part as I cooked some rice to have with this so the only ingredient I needed was Szechuan pepper. Mine was from a Chinese supermarket but you can get it in the major supermarkets as well, will just cost more. Amazon have 200g for £9.99 if you can’t find it locally.

The Prep:

First, I fired up the Uuni using the gas attachment and the new regulator which takes it up to 550c in 20 minutes.

Next, I took the duck out of the packaging.

038/18: Szechuan Peppered Duck Breast

I needed a sharp knife to slice the duck fat and spotted the Petty I got from Blenheim Forge a while back. I haven’t used that one much but it is a great little knife, will need to use it more often.

038/18: Szechuan Peppered Duck Breast

The recipe calls for a teaspoon of crushed Szechuan peppercorns. I increased that to a fully loaded tablespoon! Once crushed it was rubbed into the duck skin.

038/18: Szechuan Peppered Duck Breast

The Cook:

Knowing the Uuni takes about 20 minutes to get up to 550c I put the cast iron dish inside after 15 minutes to warm up. Once the Uuni was at 550c I took the dish out and put the duck breast in skin side down – sizzle!

Every couple of minutes I took the dish out and flipped the duck and/or rotated the cast iron dish to cook the meat equally. As the duck fat was rendering it was igniting from the Uuni flames so there was a fireball when I was taking the meat out! The fat took a bit of a kicking so was black rather than the golden brown I was aiming for! 

038/18: Szechuan Peppered Duck Breast

Time to Eat:

I wasn’t sure how pink the meat would be due to how hot it had been cooked at and because of the fireball I had created during the cook! Slicing it open revealed a nice pink centre.

038/18: Szechuan Peppered Duck Breast

The duck was really juicy, I sneaked a taste and it was fantastic!  038/18: Szechuan Peppered Duck Breast


Although the duck fat was burnt it did render right down so was a very thin charred, crispy layer which was actually really tasty!

This was a quick and easy dish. Sometimes when cooking for 1 you can’t be bothered going to much effort but this was really easy to prep/cook but tasted great. The gas attachment on the Uuni 3 makes things a lot easier, fire it up and leave it for 20 minutes then start cooking!

James from Cabrito suggested cooking the duck skin side down in a cold pan to render the fat down so that would be worth a try next time.

Cook Difficulty: 2/5 
Cook Duration: Quick: 2/5
Cook Equipment: Uuni
Cook Method: Cast Iron
Charcoal: Gas
Smoking Wood: N/A
Cook time: About 6 minutes
Internal temperature: N/A
Notes: 1: Try cooking skin side down on a cold pan
2: Try a lower temperature!
3: Try to render the fat down or remove it before the cook.

The Kit:

If you like the look of this cook you can buy the Uuni 3 from Amazon (£199.99) by clicking the picture below:  


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