Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I have cracked the duck-in-the-crockpot code. You need to use a rack. Too much liquid forms in the pot, and the meat needs to be up above it. I used a little round rack that came with my rice cooker, but you could use anything---an inverted ramekin to lift the bird up out of the collected juice, a collapsible steamer basket (great idea, KW!), foil balls, etc.
This duck tastes great, is seasoned nicely, and held up in the crockpot. Here's how to make traditional Peking Duck, and here's how I made it crockpot-friendly:
--4 to 5 pound duck
--5 whole green onions
--4 star anise
--1 inch ginger, peeled
--2 teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice (or you can make your own.)
--1 tsp cinnamon
--1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
--1 tablespoon honey
--2 tablespoons soy sauce (La Choy and Tamari wheat-free are gluten free)
Use a 6 quart crockpot, and insert a cooking rack of somesort in the bottom of your pot. Wash the green onions and lay on top of the rack.
Skin the duck the best you can. Peel ginger and stuff inside cavity, with the star anise. In a small bowl, combine dry spices. Rub all over the bird, inside and out. Place the duck inside your crockpot, breast up. (I did breast down yesterday, and that was a mistake. It got too soggy.) Drizzle on soy sauce and honey.
Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Serve with plum sauce.
I made a down-and-dirty plum sauce:
--1/3 cup plum jam
--1 tablespoon soy sauce (La Choy is GF)
--1 tablespoon white sugar
--1 teaspoon garlic powder
I was much happier at how this duck held up in the crockpot, and how most of the grease dripped away. The meat was nicely seasoned, and tasted great. We really liked the plum sauce. The kids ended up eating little smokies in bbq sauce because it was the Girl Scouts Holiday Party and that was our offering (done in a crockpot, of course).