Just as in any dish prepared in a slow cooker, crock pot duck recipes are convenient for the home cook and a family who appreciates a beautifully prepared whole duck or duck breast. Crock pot, which originated from a brand name of slow cookers in the United States, is now synonymous to the process of cooking food in low temperature for a very long period. The slow cooker is a great way to cook duck recipes. While the common way is to parboil and then roast the duck to get that shiny, dark brown crisp skin, a slow cooker can make things even simpler.
Use a 6 quart crock pot for whole ducks weighing 4 to 5 pounds. In crock pot duck recipes, cooking time may vary according to your crock pot design. But the most common step here would be the preparation of the duck. For whole ducks, remove the giblets as well as the fat hanging from the cavity opening. You can remove the skin entirely before cooking but if you want to serve it with crisp skin, prick the duck all over to render the fat first. Rub the duck with salt and pepper all over. If you have citrus, garlic and onions, you can insert it into the cavity for flavor.
To get the beautiful burnished brown skin, brown the whole duck in a sauté pan for 15 minutes on each side. You can also broil the duck later after removing from the crock pot. Into the slow cooker, put in the other ingredients such as onions, shallots, celery and other herbs and spices. You could also put in chopped apples and potatoes so that it makes a raised bed at the bottom with which you can settle the duck. If you have a little round rack that will fit into the crock pot, that will be helpful too. With its raised position, the fat will melt down the body and drip into the vegetables below. That means more flavor is soaked up by the duck and the vegetables.
You can also just cook the duck half, thighs, legs or breast in the crock pot so it fits the pot nicely. Crock pot duck recipes of this sort suggest mixing fruits like peaches, apricots and orange peel along with the honey, soy sauce, and stock to give the duck a sweet, tangy flavor and balance it with the richness of the duck.