Duck in Clay-Pot
perfect dish for homeoffice-times
takes only a little preperation, but takes quite a time in the oven
served it for a rpg-campaign finale and called it “Ente Gut Alles Gut”
(a German pun on “All’s Well That Ends Well” and “duck” = Ente)
- a duck (plucked = you need to remove the entrails)
- parsley, fresh
- thyme, one twig
- shallots or onions
- carrots and other soup vegetables (celery etc.)
- freshly ground black pepper
- garlic powder
For this dish you need a big cooking clay pot, called “Römertopf” (since this is the name of the ceramic company) in German, that has the advantage the all the liquids you normally would loose in the oven, are preserved.
Before you start, you need to fill the clay pot as well as the lid with water, and let them rest for 10min. This is super important.
Pour away the water and put your soup vegetables on the bottom (no need to chop them; just clean them before).
Season the plucked duck with salt, pepper, and garlic powder on the outside as well as the inside.
Take a sharp knife and cut the sinews at the legs.
You are doing this, so that when the meat at the legs contracts while cooking, it will not be streched out so it will not get dry (see second picture).
Rest your seasoned duck on top of the vegetables, put the fresh parsley (no need to chop it) and a thyme twig inside. Now fill the duck with shallots/onions (no need to chop them). This gives the duck some stability and also will provide some moisture during the cooking process.
Should there be some empty spaces, fill them with more soup vegetables.
The clay pot must be mostly full, but still be able to close.
That being said, put the lid on top - you must be able to hear a “click” sound, when the lid rests in.
Do not put any liquid inside.
The liquids you see in the pictures will all come from the duck itself.
Put the filled clay pot into the cold oven.
Yes, this needs to start cold - This is super important!
Turn the heat to 200°C and let the magic work for ~1h per kg of meat.
Do not open the lid while it cooks!
Afterwards, carefully (it’s super hot) take the pot out and remove the lid. Do not turn off the temperature yet.
Now you will see that the pot is filled with soup like liquids. That are the liquids you would normally loose, when using other cooking processes.
Then take a spoon and carefully (yeah … it’s still hot) pour some of that soupy-liquids over the duck and put it back into the oven without the lid for additional 5-10min to make it extra crispy.
Take it out again and put everything on a big plate.
Cut the duck open and remove the onions, parsley and thyme.
Serve with red cabbage and Semmelknödel (Austrian/Bavarian bread dumplings)
Use the soupy-liquid as a sauce.
P.S.: For cleaning the clay pot use only water!
If some spots are more difficult to clean, you can add a bit of vinegar to the water.
Never use dish soap to clean the clay pot!