How to Cook Gadwall Duck in a Crock-pot

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If you're only cooking for a few guests for the holidays, try serving duck instead of turkey.
If you're only cooking for a few guests for the holidays, try serving duck instead of turkey. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Many people shy away from cooking wild duck such as the Gadwall because of preconceived assumptions that it is difficult to prepare. Fortunately, that isn’t the case. If you’re a duck hunter or are lucky enough to be acquainted with one, try slow cooking Gadwall duck in a Crock-pot or other brand of slow cooker to achieve a tender and succulent bird that will be the star of your next meal.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Salt and pepper
  • Wire rack or aluminum foil
  • Crock-pot or slow cooker
  • Platter
  • Meat thermometer (optional)
  • Thyme, rosemary (optional)
  • Apples, oranges or berries (optional)
  • Onions and carrots (optional)

Wipe down the entire, trimmed Gadwall duck with paper towels. Season it inside and out with salt and pepper. Insert a bouquet of fresh herbs such as thyme and rosemary inside the duck, if desired. Alternatively, insert fresh fruits inside the duck such as apples, oranges or berries. You can also use root vegetables such as onions and carrots.

Saute the duck until lightly browned in a frying pan before adding it to the slow cooker to give it a roasted appearance, if desired. Place a wire rack inside your slow cooker and set the Gadwall duck on top of it, breast side up.

Cook the Gadwall duck on high for approximately 3 to 4 hours. Alternatively, cook it on low for 6 to 7 hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the duck once it has finished cooking. Lift it carefully and place it onto a platter. Let the duck rest for 10 to 15 minutes prior to carving. Serve with wild rice and gravy or mashed potatoes and green beans.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't have a wire rack to set into your slow cooker, ball up some aluminum foil and set the duck on that.
  • Orange juice mellows duck's aggressive flavor, so incorporate it into your recipe if you want a milder-tasting duck.
  • If you prefer duck with a crispy skin, roast it an oven set at 425 degrees F for a few minutes after it has finished cooking in your slow cooker.
  • Save the duck carcass to make savory stocks, soups or stews.
  • Be careful not to overfill your slow cooker as this can affect cooking times. It is recommended that you do not fill your slow cooker more than two-thirds full, though this varies among brands. Consult the slow cooker's manual if you are unsure.

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