White Pekin Duck
I am one lucky cook. I had a bowl of gorgeous slow cooked duck meat and another of beautifully scented duck fat from my New Jersey neighbors at D’Artagnan on my kitchen counter. Why was I so fortunate? Because I had made duck demi-glace to anoint beautiful little Scottish grouse that I’m doing next week and had these luxurious leftovers after slow cooking the stock for 10 hours. What did I do with it??? How about duck rillettes!
One of the most heartbreakingly delicious breakfasts of my life was an omelette filled with duck rillettes and crème fraiche that was served with bread fragranced by a wood fire toasting. The filling flowed from its egg envelope with a dark molten splendor as I sliced into it. I think my eyes rolled back in my head.
This is great duck. D’Artagnan’s meats and poultry are all raised organically and humanely which all good cooks know makes for better tasting food as well as a better stewardship of the land. Being NY based, I have used their products for 20 years and have never been disappointed (through the wonders of the internet… you can too!).
This is one of the easiest things in the world to make if you have the raw materials. Rillettes were first made with pork and are a specialty of Anjou and Le Mans in France, but are now done with game or fish as well. The meat is salted and scented with warm spices and fresh herbs. I warmed it up even further with cognac and Madeira and then brightened it with green peppercorns. I bet you could do it with leftover chicken thighs as well but you do need the fat to make it work. It is wicked and delicious….something all women aspire to, yes?
Leftover duck meat
Leftover duck fat, melted
Salt to taste
1 clove garlic minced
pinch of coriander, nutmeg, pepper
& mace *
½ pinch of cinnamon
1 t fresh marjoram, chopped
1 T MAISON SURRENNE cognac **
1-2 T green peppercorns in brine
* The amounts of spice will depend on what you’re able to get off the duck. Assuming you get 1 c of meat and nearly the same of fat, the recommended spicing will work. If you did a few ducks and have a lot more meat and fat, expand the amounts accordingly. Taste and see what you think. This is not an exact science. This is a great dish for using what is left and not wasting any of your great duck.
Take all the leftover meat from the duck carcass you may have leftover from making a duck. Cook at a very low heat in the duck fat. When it is meltingly tender after an hour or so, remove it from the heat and shred the meat. Combine with the garlic and spices and liquor and green peppercorns. Put into a crock and try to have the fat cover the meat. Let it sit for a day or two to meld the flavors. Serve at room temperature on bread. You can also serve it with cornichons and mustard if you wish.
I made that omelette again. Although my rillettes aren’t as dark as the one I remember… the taste was there… to die for. I can also see this as a filling for ravioli with cream. It was great as a filling for lasagna (I put a little raclette in the béchamel and mmm it was good!).
** I want to recommend the cognac from Germain-Robin. I got their MAISON SURRENNE Ancienne Distillerie 100% Petite Champagne when I was working on the absinthe post and finally cracked it open… it is spectacular and a great buy for cognac.
Thanks to everyone who has been clicking on my Google Ads(anything that sells something) on the side and bottom of the page… I have almost made $10 this month which is 10 times better than usual… at this rate I might get a night’s stay in Oxford courtesy of LostPast… how great is that!!!
check out D'Artagnan's Facebook page... Lostpastremembered is there!!!
Thanks to Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday