duck (fresh or thawed)
celery stocks or 2 firm apples or potatoes
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 layers of cheesecloth
bunch of thyme
tart firm apple, lemon or orange
onion, peeled and quartered
large pieces of cheese cloth (to lift the bird out of the crock)
Slow cooker/crock pot, wire rack or aluminum foil balls or use the carrots, celery, apples or potatoes to elevate the duck inside the crock pot if you don't have a wire rack or aluminum foil you can sit the duck on. Personally I like the veggies, they make it taste better.
Prepare the Duck:
Remove the giblets from the duck and use elsewhere. Lay the duck on the cheese cloth making sure that it is big enough to tie on top of the duck so you can lift it out of the crock pot.
Any large pieces of fat that are on the duck should be trimmed and saved, do not toss it out.
Wipe the bird with a paper towel and salt and pepper it inside and out. Put a lemon/orange or apple cut in quarters along with a quartered onion inside the duck. Place your herbs inside the duck. Perhaps tie them into a bouquet garni as it will be easier to remove once the duck is cooked.
Heat a non-stick pan and place the duck breast side down. Saute until the skin on the duck is lightly browned. Do both sides if you like. It isn't going to change the taste of the duck, but will make it look like it's roasted on the outside. You can also brown the duck at the end of the cooking process if you prefer, but this is easier since the duck might fall apart at the end.
Get the cheese cloth put the duck on it. Lift the duck up and lower it into the crock pot. Set the duck breast side up onto the wrack/aluminum foil balls or the vegetables.
Prick the skin on the breast with a fork several times to allow the fat to escape from the duck. Close the cheese cloth over the bird. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or on low 6-7 hours. The internal temperature should be 185'F. If you use a wild duck it will cook faster since it has less fat.
Check the fat level half way through cooking. If the fat is above the bottom of the duck ladle or skim it off with a turkey baster. Save the fat in a jar in the fridge and use it for other dishes.
Remove the duck once cooked lifting it carefully to drain on a platter.
You can also put this in a 425'F oven to crisp the skin up, then drain on paper towels.
Let the duck sit for at least 10-15 minutes before carving.
Carve and serve. You can use left over duck for all sorts of things, be imaginative. Duck fried rice sounds good to me :)