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.
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.
- UDSA: Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart
- The Food Lover’s Companion: Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst
- Just A Pinch: Crock Pot Duck
- Simply Recipes: Roast Wild Duck
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: Delectable Wild Duck
- The Orvis Cookbook: Fifty Complete Menus for Fish and Game: Romi Perkin
- 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.
Christina Kalinowski is a writer from the Twin Cities who began her career in 2011. She contributes food and drink related articles to The Daily Meal. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from Purdue University.