Make Ahead

Slow Cooker Duck

July 20, 2009
0 Ratings
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

This is a terrific recipe that makes use of a common appliance’s best qualities without using it to completely cook the dish. This is a bit more trouble than a garden variety slow cooker recipe, but vastly less trouble and to-do than any other duck recipe that makes the skin as crispy as this one’s (those other troublesome recipes can involve anything from parboiling the duck whole and refrigerating for days before roasting or standing over the duck with a hair dryer to open the duck’s pores—madness when you can just whap the whole thing into your slow cooker and get the same effect!).

What You'll Need
  • 1 fresh or completely thawed frozen duck, quartered (big pieces of hanging fat removed, if any)
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 a large white or spanish onion, peeled and sliced
  • large sprigs of fresh thyme, on the branch
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup good red wine
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper
  1. Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat for 3-5 minutes; don’t add any fat. Put the duck in the heated saute pan and brown it well, skin side first, then flesh side, probably about 15 minutes total. Lift the duck quarters out of the fat and discard fat. Pepper and liberally salt the duck quarters on both sides.
  2. Mix celery, carrots, onion, shallots, thyme, cloves, peppercorns and red wine in the slow cooker. Place duck quarters on top of this mixture, skin side up. Pour lemon juice over duck pieces and sprinkle on a bit more kosher salt.
  3. Slow cook the duck on low for 8 to 10 hours. Drain liquid from the slow cooker (this can be strained, chilled and saved in a bowl—it will separate into perfect duck fat on the top and lovely duck gelee on the bottom). (Note: After Step Three, duck can be refrigerated, covered, up to two days, before proceeding with Step Four).
  4. Broil duck pieces, skin side up only, until skin is completely crisp, about 3-5 minutes

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Amanda Hesser
    Amanda Hesser
  • EBeier
  • Epictetus
  • avimom

4 Reviews

Epictetus May 7, 2012
I used this recipe last night, in triple quantities. It was superb-Thank you! Quite on the of the best main courses I have ever cooked. The duck was delicious, and everyone at dinner liked it and commented on how tasty it was. Broiling (grilling in the UK) the pieces of duck before serving is a great idea. A perfect recipe. I shall use it again, frequently.

Dubai - May 2012
avimom April 20, 2011
Used this technique yesterday on chicken for our second seder. Delicious and beautiful! No one could believe such a beautifully brown chicken came from the crockpot. I will definitely cook my duck this way now, too.
Amanda H. July 21, 2009
E.B., this sounds so great. What brand of slow cooker do you like? I still don't own one.
EBeier November 9, 2009
can you believe I am just noticing your comment now? I'm as slow as a slow cooker! I sort of don't believe in the fancy cookers, since the liners are v. equivalent in cheap and expensive brands--if they stint too much on linings, the slow cooker doesn't really work at all so the cheap ones put all their money there. I have a Rival that was a present but I think retails for about $40. The Cuisinart one is v. handsome but you are not going to display on the countertop in any case, I'll wager, and is a multiple of the price! EB