A perfectly cooked duck, ready in less than half the time that it takes to roast a duck in the oven. How can that be you ask? I'm going to let you into a little secret. Cook the duck in a pressure cooker, and then pop it into the oven until the skin is brown and crispy. And you end up with a succulent and perfectly cooked duck with the crispiest duck skin you have ever eaten!
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Pressure cooker roast duck
If you are looking for a recipe for roast duck cooked in the oven, then you may want to try my crispy roast duck with cherry sauce recipe. But if you are looking for a quick and easy way to cook a duck in the pressure cooker (and just crisp the skin in the oven), then you are in the right place.
This is more of a method than a recipe, but once you've cooked your duck in the pressure cooker, there are so many things you can do with it.
- Crisp the skin in the oven and serve the duck as a roast with vegetables and duck-fat roast potatoes (recipe below).
- Turn it into a Chinese meal of duck in garlic sauce or duck pancakes with hoisin sauce.
- Cut off the breasts and turn them into a quick and easy duck a l'orange by crisping the breasts skin-side down in a frying pan then serving them with baby new potatoes, vegetables and a helping of orange sauce from this crispy orange chicken recipe.
- Turn leftovers into duck fried rice by substituting leftover duck for the ham in this recipe for Chinese egg fried rice or mix leftover duck into this spicy mushroom fried rice.
Why cook duck in a pressure cooker?
There are a lot of advantages to cooking a duck in a pressure cooker.
- It only takes 40 minutes to get a perfectly cooked duck, and another 10 minutes to crisp up the skin in a frying pan, so you save on electricity.
- The meat turns out so juicy and succulent and so tender that the duck practically carves itself! I often find with a roast duck that the legs tend to be difficult to remove. With a pressure-cooked duck, the legs pull away from the carcass with no resistance whatsoever.
- Ducks are quite fatty, but by cooking the duck in the pressure cooker, a lot of the fat cooks out of the bird and stays behind in the cooking juices.
- If you are intending to shred the meat to use in another recipe, you will get far more meat from a pressure cooker duck. A duck roasted in the oven tends to have more dry meat than a duck cooked in a pressure cooker.
- The cooking liquid can be turned into the most delicious gravy.
A duck cooked in a pressure cooker delivers moist, juicy meat, and is full of flavour, but it takes less than half the time it would take to get the same results in the oven.
So let me show you how to cook a duck in the pressure cooker.
What you will need
You will need a pressure cooker. I have a Pressure King Pro electric pressure cooker like this one, but you can use a normal stovetop pressure cooker too. You will also need a large frying pan for browning the duck before cooking it so that some of the fat renders out.
As far as ingredients go, you will need a duck!
A duck can have a lot of fat around the neck cavity so I like to remove this before putting the duck in the pressure cooker. I also like to cut away any excess skin as this also contains a lot of fat. You can render this duck fat out in the frying pan at the same time as browning the duck and save the rendered fat for making roast potatoes.
You will also need a teaspoon of salt to sprinkle over the duck before cooking it in the pressure cooker. Don't salt the duck before browning it in the frying pan or the salt will be released into the fat that gets rendered.
For the liquid component, you will need a chicken stock cube dissolved in one cup of boiling water.
If you intend to make gravy from the cooking liquid, you may also like to add a carrot and an onion.
Use a pair of kitchen shears and remove the wing-tips before cooking the duck.
What to do
I used a Pressure King Pro electric pressure cooker. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for settings and timings for your own particular model.
Brown the duck
The first step is to brown the duck in a frying pan and then get it into the pressure cooker.
Brown the duck in a frying pan. You won't need to add any oil. A duck is a very fatty bird and it will release its fat from beneath the skin as it cooks. If you have removed the fat from the neck cavity, add this to the frying pan too, along with any excess skin that was removed.
Brown the duck over a medium to high heat and use a pair of kitchen tongs to help you turn the duck to brown it all over.
Reserve the duck fat and use it for making roast potatoes. It will stay fresh in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
Sprinkle the duck with salt to taste and place the browned duck into the pressure cooker, breast side up.
If you are going to be using the cooking juices to make gravy, you may like to add a carrot and an onion at this time for extra flavour.
Pour in the prepared stock and cook on the highest setting (mine is the Stew function) for 40 minutes.
My duck weighed 2kg (4.5 pounds). You may need to adjust the timing if your duck is larger or smaller than this.
You will know the duck is done when the leg feels loose in its socket when 'wiggled' and bends easily away from the carcass. If there is a lot of resistance, cook for a few minutes longer.
Cook the duck and crisp the skin
Next, the duck gets browned in the oven to crisp the skin.
Release the steam and open the pressure cooker.
Transfer the duck to a roasting pan. There is no need to add any oil or stock.
Place the duck on the middle shelf of a hot oven (220C / 430F) for 10 to 15 minutes until the skin is brown and crispy.
Keep your eye on it - if it starts to brown too much move it to a lower shelf and reduce the heat of the oven slightly.
Carve the duck
A duck is shaped differently to a chicken and should be carved in a different way.
Cover the duck with a sheet of tinfoil and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before carving.
To remove the legs, pull the leg out slightly and cut through the joint between the thigh and the breast.
You can remove the wings in the same way.
To remove the breast, make a cut along the top of the breastbone and slide the knife down against the ribs.
You can now cut the breasts in half or into slices.
Leftover meat on the carcass can be removed and saved for turning into a stirfry for another meal.
Serve the duck with crispy duck-fat roast potatoes and your choice of vegetables.
How to make crispy duck-fat roast potatoes
Line a baking dish with tinfoil (to make cleaning up easier) and pour in some of the duck fat saved from browning the duck.
Place the try of duck fat into a hot oven (200C/400F) for 10 minutes to heat the duck fat.
Hot fat means that the potatoes will start to cook immediately and won't absorb as much fat as they would if the fat was cold.
While the fat is heating, bring some potatoes to boil in salted water, and let them boil for about 8 minutes until they just start to soften.
Drain the potatoes and then remove the tray of hot oil from the oven, add the potatoes and sprinkle them lightly with salt.
Place the tray of potatoes back into the oven for 20 minutes to allow the potatoes to brown and crisp.
Turn the potatoes after 10 minutes.
Make the gravy
There will be a lot of fat from the duck floating on top of the gravy. Skim this off before attempting to make the gravy.
Pour the cooking liquid into a saucepan. If you added a carrot and onion in with the duck you can either remove them or blend them into the liquid with a stick blender.
Make a slurry with 1 tablespoon of cornflour and 2 tablespoons of cold water. Make sure you get all the lumps out. Pour the cornflour slowly into the cooking liquid over a low heat, stirring continuously, until the gravy is the desired thickness. You may not need to use all the cornflour.
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Pressure cooker duck FAQ
A 2kg duck will be sufficient for 3 to 4 people.
The temperature of a fully cooked duck should register at least 74C / 165F.
Any cold leftover duck can be shredded and frozen for up to 2 months. Allow it to defrost in the refrigerator and use for sandwiches or a stirfry. Do not refreeze.
Save for later
If you would like to cook a duck in a pressure cooker yourself, why not save these instructions to one of your Pinterest boards so you can find them easily. Just click on the image below.
Alternatively, you can save the instructions by clicking on the floating heart on the right-hand side of the screen.
You may also like to try some of my other easy roast recipes:
How to cook roast duck in a pressure cooker
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- 4.5 pounds / 2 kg fresh duck
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup chicken stock or use a stock cube
- 1 carrot optional
- 1 onion optional
- Remove excess skin and fat from the duck.4.5 pounds / 2 kg fresh duck
- Place the duck in a dry frying pan (along with any skin and fat that was removed) and brown on all sides over a medium to high heat. A pair of kitchen tongs will help you hold the duck in place as it browns. Save any fat that renders out of the duck and use it to make roast potatoes.
- Sprinkle the duck with salt to taste and transfer it to the pressure cooker.Salt to taste
- Add one cup of stock, and if you are going to be making gravy, add the carrot and onion for extra flavour.1 cup chicken stock, 1 carrot, 1 onion
- Select the 'Stew' function on the pressure cooker and cook for 40 minutes. Or follow the manufacturer's instructions for your own model of pressure cooker.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F
- Release the pressure and then open the pressure cooker and transfer the duck into a dry roasting pan.
- Place the duck in the preheated oven, breast-side up, for 10 to 15 minutes until the skin is brown and crispy. Keep your eye on it so it doesn't burn.
- Once the duck has browned, remove it from the oven, cover it with a sheet of tinfoil and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before carving.
- Serve with crispy duck-fat roast potatoes and your choice of vegetables. Optionally make gravy from the stock.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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