If you’re a fan of Chinese cuisine, then prepare to be wowed by this indulgent slow cooker adaptation of a classic favourite: hoisin duck. With mouth-watering flavours, a crispy finish, and served with delicate pancakes, it’s the perfect way to elevate your slow-cooked repertoire.
At the heart of this dish lies a whole duck, which you can pick up at most larger supermarkets. Also key, is the indispensable hoisin sauce—bringing you a fusion of sweet, salty, and tangy flavours. I recommend using a good quality hoisin sauce, such as the Flying Goose brand or Lee Kum Kee, both of which you can often find at larger supermarkets or your local Asian supermarket. This is where you’ll also be able to find some pancakes, usually in the frozen section.
Preparing the Duck
Begin by creating the luxurious hoisin sauce mixture, to coat your duck and serve as the base of your cooking liquid. Place the duck in the slow cooker upside-down, ensuring the meatier portions are submerged in the sauce. It might seem counterintuitive, but ducks have less meat on their underbellies, so this positioning will enhance the flavour.
Set your slow cooker to low, and cook the duck for 7-8 hours, or more. This low and slow method ensures that the duck absorbs all the delightful flavours and becomes exceptionally tender.
The Perfect Finish
Once the duck is cooked, carefully remove it and place it on a wire rack or baking tray. Heat your oven, grill or airfyer and cook the duck until the skin turns crispy to your liking. I like using the grill with fan setting on my oven. That way, the whole of the duck starts to crisp, but the top is extra crispy. Then simply shred the duck meat with a couple of forks, and serve it in pancakes along with finely sliced cucumber and spring onions. A dollop more of hoisin sauce seals the deal.
Optionally, you can thicken the sauce left in the slow cooker by using cornflour slurry. Once you’ve removed the duck, turn the heat to high and add the mix of water and cornflour to the slow cooker. The sauce will thicken you’ll get the perfect consistency for a glaze. Brush this thickened sauce over the duck before crisping the skin for that deliciously sticky and flavourful finish.
Slow Cooked Hoisin Whole Duck with Pancakes
- Slow Cooker
- Grill (broiler)
- 1.7 kg Whole duck
- 200 g Hoisin sauce
- 150 ml Chicken stock
- 4 tbsp Honey 4 tbsp = approx 90g
- 2 tbsp Soy sauce
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
- 10 g Ginger peeled and minced
- 12-15 'Mandarin' pancakes
- 30 g Cucumber thinly sliced
- 30 g Spring Onion thinly sliced
- In a bowl, combine hoisin sauce, chicken stock, honey, soy sauce, garlic and ginger. This is your sauce.
- Brush the duck with the sauce. Place the duck upside down into the slow cooker (so the breast meat cooks in the juices). Pour over any remaining sauce.
- Cook for 7-8 hours on the low.
- Carefully remove the duck from the slow cooker and place breast side up on a grilling rack.
- Optionally thicken the remaining sauce in the slow cooker using a small amount of cornflour slurry (equal parts water and cornflour).
- Either place in the oven on 180°C for 20 minutes, or place under a hot grill for approx 5-10 minutes. Cook until the skin starts to crisp to your preference, checking regularly. Occasionally spoon the sauce from the slow cooker over the duck.
- Shred pieces of duck meat using two forks and serve in steamed pancakes with thinly sliced cucumber and spring onion. Finish with more hoisin sauce.
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