This refined French appetizer is made by mashing slow-cooked duck with fat and spices into a silky paste.
The duck livers are not in the traditional recipe. I added them and they push the flavor more towards a liver pâté or foie gras. I found I liked it even better that way
As I have never prepared this before, I had to look it up and I adapted the recipe on THIS PAGE.
I did use real Duck Confit instead of a slow-cooked duck.
duck rillettes with fat layer
serving duck rilletettes - internet pictures
Pic3: duck confit
Pic4: pull the meat
Pic5: season to taste - internet picture
Starting with confit:
- cold-pull the meat (Pic3 + 4) and
use the skin and bones to make a concentrated stock.
Starting with a slow-cooked duck:
- cold-pull the meat.
- Reserve the bones and skin to make stock.
- Heat up the cooking drippings and strain to separate the fat and gelatin from impurities. (Pic4)
Soften duck fat briefly in the microwave or let it warm slowly to room temperature.
Transfer the pulled meat to a mixing bowl.
Add the 2 tbsp. warm duck fat, S&P, brandy, parsley, mustard and cayenne to taste.
Start mixing some already.
Pic6: add duck fat and gelatin
Pic7: mash it all together
Pic8: optional: add duck liver
Add warm duck fat and gelatin.
With the back of a spoon, mash everything into a paste.
Alternatively, use a food processor in small batches and pulse briefly.
Don’t overdo it. Rillettes need to be spreadable but not entirely smooth. (Pic6)
- Add one or more fully cooked duck livers. (Pic8)
- Mash them separately first to remove the tough central fibers.
- Go by taste to determine your preferred amount.
Adjust seasoning. Do taste before and after you do this.
Pic9: transfer to clean mason jars
Pic10: refrigerate & wait, wait, wait ... not yet
Pic11: at last
For storage, best use sealable crocks or canning jars. (4 and 8 oz. freezable mason jars)
Sterilize the jars before filling them.
Fill the jars with ¼ inch head space, ½ inch if adding a fat layer.
Pat the content down to remove air bubbles and smoothen the surface.
- Add a layer of warm duck fat. (Pic1)
With refrigeration, that is no longer absolutely necessary, but it looks very nice if you want to use this as an edible gift.
- Sprinkle some ground black pepper, parsley and orange zest into the liquid fat to make it look even better.
Close the jars and refrigerate.
Rillettes can be stored in the refrigerator for several months and can be frozen for up to a year.
If you can, wait at least a week before opening.
The flavors will mature during that time and it will taste even better.
Serve on toast or crackers. Enjoy.