- 2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon finely diced ginger, skin on
- 6 whole quail
- 1/2 cup Lapsang souchong tea leaves
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup raw rice
- Strip of orange zest
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anise
- 2 cloves
- Grind the peppercorns until fine in a spice mill and combine with the salt, zest, and ginger in a bowl.
- Rub the marinade all over the quail, inside and out, and set aside for two hours.
- Line a large, deep pot, such as a stock pot or an old wok, with a generous amount of foil.
- Make sure the inside is completely covered and there is a foil overhang of about 3 to 4 inches.
- Line the lid with foil. Place the smoking ingredients in the bottom of the foil-lined pot.
- Place an oiled rack securely inside the pot, at least two inches above the smoking mixture (you can use empty tin cans to support the rack).
- Brush off excess marinade from each quail and place them on the rack.
- Put the pot over high heat, and when the mixture begins to smoke, place the lid securely on the pot.
- Crimp the foil loosely around the lid and pot, leaving a 1-inch-long uncrimped opening. Adjust the heat to maintain a steady ribbon of steam from the opening and smoke for 15 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat to a well-ventilated spot, and loosen the foil slowly, pointing away from you so you are not hit with a blast of hot smoke.
- At this point, the quail should be medium-rare. If you would prefer the quail cooked further, cook them in a 350-degree oven for five minutes. Do not smoke the quail for longer than 15 minutes, as this will result in inedible over-smoked birds.
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