Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Crock pot duck, slow then fast for tender meat but crispy skin

I pulled a duck out of the freezer a few days ago and needed to cook it. The thing with duck is it normally needs a few hours of roasting, time I don't have on a week night. Who has a few hours to get dinner on the table after an hour commute, picking up the kid(s), and hustling back home? I sure don't.

But then, the duck is thawed and I have to do something with it. Crockpot! The thing is, fowl in a crockpot can be, well... foul, soggy, limp, and totally unappetizing. My challenge is how to avoid that.

Duck naturally has a lot of fat. That's why it is so good!  But if we can raise the duck out of the fat, perhaps we'll be OK.

This was all going down at 5:30am so I can be on the 6:53 train. Wow, coffee and breaking down a duck. Let's start with the duck.

Using shears, remove backbone. Then using a sharp knife cut through the breast.

Cut between the thigh and the breast for 4 pieces.

But how to keep them out of the fat? I have some root vegetables. Let's use those!

I broke them down and got them in the crockpot. This basically formed a rack to lift the duck off the bottom of the crockpot.

Nestle the four duck quarters on top of the root vegetables.

Add a tbs of kosher salt, and a heavy grind of black pepper.

Add a cup of stock or water. Cover. Set on low, this cooked for 11.5 hours. It seems like too long but it was going from cold.

Surprisingly when I got home, there was some slight browning on the top!

To finish it, I heated the oven to 375F, pulled the duck quarters, the carrots and  potatoes,  put them on a foil lined cookie sheet and roasted until the skin was crisp, about 20 minutes.

Plate it up and enjoy! If I had the time I would have separated the fat from the broth and made a sauce, but with hungry people clamoring for dinner, I need to get it served Now!

Until next time, Eat Well & Keep Digging!

I'm using the "scheduled at" posting function, lets see how it works!

The Gastronomic Gardener
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  1. Another typical working day??? Did you get the 06:53 OK? Funnily enough, when I work in London (which is quite frequently) I get on a train in Fleet at 06:54. I seldom prepare the dinner before setting off, I'm glad to say!

  2. Because of the long day, particularly when I pick up my daughter, I like using the slow cooker, makes life easier to have dinner ready when I walk in the door. I don't mind, I can whack together something good in a short time. However if it is going to be a peice of beef, I'll brown it thenight before, prep all the vegetable and only have to put it in the cooker in the morning. What Line do you take to London?

  3. did you get any of the fat!??!! oh man.. 'taters in duckfat are amazing! really its amazing. and great use of a crock pot.

  4. Hi Ofg, oh yeah, collected the fat and almost a quart of ducky gelatin. Soup and sauce await!

  5. whooohoooo! great work! we had 'taters in chicken fat (skimmed from making stock) last nite.. i dont know what it is but wow its a great combo.

    i've also been using chicken fat when i'm stir frying. i dont know why i hadnt thought of it before. it has a different quality than veg oils.

    try some of your duck fat and stock in risotto.. yum! have a great weekend!


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