Navigate / search

Slow Roasted Duck

This was probably the best salad I have ever made! The inspiration came from going to a wine bar for dinner the week before and trying to order the special – Warm Duck Confit Salad. It sounded so good! But alas, the kitchen had run out and I thought it would be fun to recreate to stuff my face with for the blog.

On a Friday morning, I decided I would make the salad that evening with a friend. I researched duck confit and learned it takes several days, so that was out. Also, I could only get a whole frozen duck locally, and it was already nearly noon. What follows is my Duck Counterfit (haha) salad. Somehow it turned out fantastically, even though I was “winging” it. (Sorry. Ducking. Oops, again.) I will tell you what I learned you “should” do, given more time, and what I did (ghetto style) and how it all turned out great.

Ingredients:

For the brine

8 cups of water
5 tablespoons coarse salt
1/2 orange, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon whole cloves
2 whole garlic cloves, peeled and slightly mashed
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 bunch (10 or so sprigs) of fresh thyme
1 whole defrosted or fresh duck, 4-5 lbs, giblets removed. [I used a frozen one]

For the slow cooker
Liberal amount of coarse ground salt and pepper, enough to season surface of bird
2 whole garlic cloves, peeled and slightly mashed [I grabbed from brine afterwards]
1 medium yellow onion, chopped in large pieces
3 large carrots, chopped in large pieces
10 or more sprigs of fresh thyme
2 shallots, peeled
1/2 orange, sliced [I grabbed from brine and added more. Mandarin oranges are perfect for this recipe]
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves

In a large bowl, add the brining ingredients, and mix together. Then add the duck. [You are supposed to brine the defrosted or fresh duck in a sealed ziplock bag resting in a bowl and store in the refrigerator but this made a huge mess and I chucked the bag and flipped the bird after an hour. And the refrigeration police might get mad but I left it on the counter for 2 hours to defrost and brine at the same time as I was running late.]

Swimming Duck
Swimming Duck

After 2 hours, remove, rinse off and let sit in a colander to dry. [My duck was still a bit frozen so I microwave defrosted it for a bit.] Pat dry with paper towels.

Trim off the excess fat near the cavities of the duck, and set the fat aside as you will want to render it for later cooking. Duck fat is GOLD! Truss the legs back with twine, and tuck the wings under [yeah, I didn’t do this.] With a metal skewer or paring knife, pierce the thick duck skin about 30-40 times to release the fat while cooking. Make sure to do this nearly parallel to the duck; you don’t want to pierce the meat as this will stain the duck skin.

Chop up the carrots and most of the onion and put in a layer in the slow cooker, and add the fat. Put some of the aromatics (thyme, garlic, orange, shallot) in the duck’s cavity, and put the rest in the slow cooker, then rest the duck on top.

Your duck will rest on this lovely bed
Your duck will rest on this lovely bed

Cook for 8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high. [If I had had more time, I would have cooked it slower and lower, and would have browned it first.]

When it is done cooking, broil in a large roasting pan at 500 degrees for about 5 (or more, keep an eye on it) minutes on each side to make the skin crispy.

Be sure to keep an eye on your duck in the broiler
Be sure to keep an eye on your duck in the broiler

When it has rested about 20 minutes, carve and serve on top of a mixed green salad and shallot dressing. IT REALLY WAS THE BEST SALAD I’VE EVER HAD.

Duck Salad With Herbed Chevre and Pecans
Duck Salad With Herbed Chevre and Pecans

With a baster, extract the fat from the bottom of the slow cooker, and strain into a jar.

When it cools, you can spoon off the duck fat from the top (especially good for cooking potatoes in) and also find something to do with the duck gelatin that is left behind. Personally, I feed the meat Jell-O to my dog as a treat as she goes nuts over it.

Comments

Duck salad | Evolving Dish

[…] is the base for my slow roasted duck salad, but would also make a great side salad or with any other protein added. I know, cheese is […]