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Earl Grey-Sichuan Pepper Duck As Made By Jenny Dorsey

We’re celebrating Lunar New Year with chef Jenny Dorsey’s Earl Grey-Sichuan Pepper Duck! Citrusy and tongue-tingling Sichuan peppers combine with rich bergamot-flavored Earl Grey tea leaves and warming allspice to make a crust that infuses the duck with flavor and crisps up as the duck is seared, then roasted. While the duck breasts cure, the carcass is used to make a fragrant stock that is delicious for sipping, or thickened into a jus to ladle over the sliced duck.

Tasty Team
August 14, 2023
Earl Grey-Sichuan Pepper Duck As Made By Jenny Dorsey
Earl Grey-Sichuan Pepper Duck As Made By Jenny Dorsey


for 2 servings

Early Grey-Sichuan Pepper Duck Breast

  • 2 duck breasts, tenderloins removed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 oz high quality whole red Sichuan peppercorns (60 g)
  • 2 oz high-quality loose Early Grey Tea leaves (60 mL)
  • 1 oz whole dried allspice berries (30 g)

Duck Stock

  • 1 tablespoon duck fat, or neutral oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander
  • ½ medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 fresh ginger, peeled and sliced (2 in - 5 cm piecE)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons shaoxing wine
  • 1 duck carcas, broken into 4 pieces
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar, plus more to taste
  • ½ cup water (120 mL), plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Special Equipment

  • spice grinder


  1. Place a wire rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Set the duck breasts on the rack and, using a sharp knife, carefully score the fat by slicing diagonally across each breast in a cross-hatch pattern at ½-inch intervals, taking care not to slice into the flesh. Season each duck breast on both sides with the salt.
  3. In a spice grinder, combine the Sichuan peppercorns, Earl Grey tea leaves, and allspice berries and coarsely grind until evenly mixed.
  4. Evenly coat each duck breast all over with about 1½ tablespoons of the spice blend. Turn the duck breasts fat-side down on the rack and transfer to the refrigerator to cure uncovered for 24 hours, until the fat is somewhat dried out and firm.
  5. Make the duck stock: In a large pot, melt the duck fat over medium heat. Add the coriander seeds and sauté for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and season with salt. Sauté until the onion is translucent, 4–6 minutes.
  6. Pour in the Shaoxing wine, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot, about 1 minute.
  7. Add the duck carcass, 2 teaspoons salt, and the sugar. Add enough water to cover the carcass by at least 4 inches. Bring to a simmer. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook the stock for 8 hours, or overnight.
  8. Uncover, increase the heat to high, and cook until the stock has reduced by half, 30–45 minutes.
  9. Strain the stock, discarding the solids, and season with salt to taste. Set aside. Store any leftover stock in the fridge for up to 5 days, or the freezer for up to 3 months.
  10. Remove the duck breasts from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature, about 1 hour.
  11. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  12. Place the duck breasts skin-side down in a cold, large, oven-safe pan. Place over medium-low heat and cook for 10–15 minutes to slowly render the duck fat, leaving a sliver of skin over the breasts. Increase the heat to medium-high to give the duck skin a final sear until golden brown and crisp, 1–2 minutes.
  13. Flip the duck breasts skin-side up and transfer the pan to the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 130°F (55°C) for medium-rare, or to your desired doneness. Through carryover cooking, the internal temperature will continue to rise by 5–10° during resting.
  14. Let the duck breasts rest for 5 minutes before slicing crosswise into ½-inch slices.
  15. Heat 1 cup (240 ml) of stock in a small pot over medium heat until gently simmering.
  16. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and ½ cup water to form a slurry. Add the slurry to the duck stock and cook for 2–3 minutes, until the stock thickens into a jus. Season the stock with more salt and sugar to taste.
  17. Ladle the hot jus over the sliced duck breast just before serving.
  18. Enjoy!
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