These duck tacos are my idea of a perfect French-Mexican fusion. That fusion actually happens quite a bit in my kitchen because as a native Californian, I adore Mexican food just as much as I adore French food.
The French actually do have “tacos” in France, but it’s not what you think. The tacos I’ve seen are always more resemblant of sandwiches, or grilled paninis, rather than what we know as tacos here in the States.
These duck tacos are actually inspired by tacos I’ve had at a local Mexican restaurant in California. Duck is really suitable for tacos because it has that rich, flavorful quality that you normally get with classic carnitas, for example.
And that’s mainly because of the duck’s fat.
If you use high-quality duck breast in this recipe, you won’t get any of that game-y flavor that cheaper duck meat will taste like.
A slow-cooker makes these duck tacos really simple to whip up. Traditionally, if you were making a magret a l’orange (duck breast with orange sauce), you would want to be mindful of how long you were grilling your duck. Grilling duck is similar to grilling steak in that way.
No one wants tough, rubber-y duck meat.
With a slow-cooker, the longer the duck cooks the better. A small handful of pantry ingredients are added to the duck before it’s placed in the slow-cooker and left on its own for several hours.
The result is incredibly tender duck that shreds at the slight pull of your fork.
The recipe that I used to make these duck tacos was actually adapted from a fellow blogger Amy from Club Narwhal. Amy made carnitas in her slow-cooker and then suggested an extra step for creating fantastic tacos.
The extra step is to pan-fry the meat in a little oil after it’s done slow-cooking. The edges of the meat get this wonderful crispiness that is worth the simple, extra step.
I really wouldn’t skip it if I were you.
There are so many toppings you can choose to adorn your tacos with. Since duck is a bit heavier than chicken or steak, I suggest going for toppings that are light and refreshing.
I like to add simple toppings like sliced radishes, which are very French to me. Chopped scallions are classic for tacos, and the mango is a seasonal favorite. The mango also creates that delectably sweet and salty effect, which I adore.
If you’ve got some ripe avocados or red onions, those would work equally well too.
Check out my video below to see just how easy it was up to make these tacos!
Pulled duck breast made in a slow-cooker then adorned with mango, scallions, and radishes for a French twist to classic tacos.
- 1 lb duck breast (453 grams)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder (.65 grams)
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin (.65 grams)
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano (.25 grams)
- 1/2 a small onion quartered
- 1/2 tbsp lime juice (7 grams)
- 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock (60 grams)
- 2 tbsp orange juice (20 grams)
- freshly ground pepper
- 6 small tortillas
- 3 radishes sliced thinly
- 1 mango peel removed, cored, cubed
- 2 scallions chopped
Sprinkle both sides of the duck breast with a generous pinch of salt. Grind a small pinch of freshly ground pepper on both sides as well. Sprinkle one side with the dried spices.
Place the duck breast in the slow cooker, then add the onion and pour the liquid into the pot (OJ, lime juice, chicken stock).
Turn on the slow cooker to the low setting for 6 to 7 hours, until the duck easily shreds apart when you pull at it with a fork. Turn the duck out onto a wooden board, then use one fork to hold the duck in place while the other fork pulls at the meat to shred it apart.
Warm a tablespoon of oil into a hot pan over medium-high heat. Add the shredded duck and sauté just until the edges of the duck meat are crispy. Assemble your tacos with whatever toppings you desire.
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