There may not be a more refreshing way to cook duck à l’orange than on a beer can.
Are we combining traditional French cuisine with an American backwoods grilling method? You bet we are.
The magic is in the duck’s upright posture. Your duck à l’orange will never be as tender or juicy as it is when it’s cooked with the legs closer to the heat and the breasts farther away. This stance lets the breasts retain more moisture while the skin smokes to a crisp.
You can go the simple route and use a beer can when you smoke your duck. When you shimmy your duck onto the beer can, pull it down until the legs touch the sheet tray to create a tripod. That’ll give your duck more stability and keep it upright. If you go this route, be sure to pour off or drink a quarter or half of the beer before you cook with it.
If you love cooking whole birds with beer, it’s worth the investment to get a ceramic chicken holder. You can grab one on Amazon for as little as $12. This recipe uses the ceramic chicken throne, which solidly holds the duck in place.
When you serve up this tasty smoked beer can duck à l’orange, grab the right drink pairing. Look for a chilled bottle of sauvignon blanc from New Zealand, or serve a Four Roses bourbon neat with a squeeze of juice from orange.