Smoked, Braised Crispy Duck

Peter Muller 

It was a few years back that I was at a fancy restaurant in Winston Salem, North Carolina, where they served a 5-course meal, and I ate what was then probably the best duck I had ever had. It was pull apart tender and had a crispy skin. It was absolutely amazing. 

Ever since then, I have wondered how well wild duck would fair in this type of dish. Well it is fairly easy to do, though it takes some time and you may dirty up some dishes. But, it is totally worth the wait when you bite into the finished dish that is tender, crunchy and super flavorful. And it can go well with any side veggies you want. I chose roasted baby reds and green beans for this plating.


  • One whole plucked wild duck (larger dabblers work best)
  • 1.5 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic


1. Fully pluck the wild duck, and with kitchen shears, cut down both sides of the backbone. Also split the breast down the middle to get two equal portions. Dry completely and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
2. On a Camp Chef Woodwind or other pellet smoker, cook the duck at low smoke for one hour.
3. Once the duck is done on the smoker, lightly saute the carrots and garlic in olive oil.
4. Add 2 cups chicken stock, both halves of the duck (skin side up) and sautéed carrots and garlic to an over safe casserole dish with lid and place in an oven that has been preheated to 250 degrees. Cook for approximately 2 hours, more time may be needed for the duck to be most tender. (An electric pressure cooker also can be used for this step, running at about 30 minutes.)
5. Remove just the duck halves from the liquid, let cool slightly and then remove any bones on the underside of each half. The ribs, hips and breastplate should pull away with ease. 
6. Pour remaining liquid, carrots and garlic into a blender, skimming any duck fat if you desire, and puree. Pour this into a pot to reduce to desired thickness of sauce.
7. Under a heated broiler, roast duck halves skin up until skin is crisped. This may take only 4-5 mins.
8. Serve with desired vegetables, add sauce and serve. 

Serves 2 (Double duck portions and add 50-percent more of remaining ingredients to serve 4.)

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