Friday, April 9, 2010

Duck Rillettes

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?
Duck Rillettes
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
1-2 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


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Deana, your description of the duck rilettes omelette literally made my mouth start watering! I must make this combo now-in fact my tastebuds are insisting I made it this very second (not quite possible as I don't have any duck to hand hehe :P )

Zurin said...

You have one of the most beautiful colours in your pictures! N that duck is a beauty! pity to cook it I can imagine how tasty the dishes were!

Deena, do drop by my place. I have a giveaway only for North Americans so I ve been passing teh word around since ive been off the air for a while. i hope u try for it..its gorgeous.:))

Zurin said...

I hope I didnt sound like a salesman!

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

I read and re-read your first para thrice, hanging on to every word, Deana! Beautiful rillette and I am so glad to find another blogger who is a fan of cognac. :)

La Table De Nana said...

My son-in-law would love this recipe..Very well done .thank you.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

OMG, that is so scrumptious! I am a big fan of duck meat and rillettes!



Barbara said...

I love D’Artagnan! (think we have talked about this before) They've got everything.

I've never made a rillette of any kind, but your description is so inviting, I may have to. (I seem to remember someone making one with pork on Top Chef and one of the judges said: that's not a rillette! Don't you know how to make a rillette??!!)

And so now, because of you, I know how to make a rillette. ;)

Deana Sidney said...

Lorraine> this dish sort of demanded a little purple prose... it is very decadent.
Zurin> I have done the link and think it's a great idea!!
Ju> Cognac is great stuff, isn't it? It just makes everything it touches better!
La Table de Nana> It is good to make this way.. of course you can start from scratch if you want!
Rosa> you'll love that omelet!
Barbara>I can't speak to it being authentic in any way... but the French are genius at never wasting a thing and in fact making a leftover as good as the original. When I had dogs, I always gave them the meat after I made stock with it ... what was I thinking?

Mary Bergfeld said...

What a lovely rendering - no pun intended - of rillettes. I haven't had them in years and now, of course, you given me the yen. Each time I visit I find more to love about your blog. This is a very pleasant place to stop and sit a spell. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

Sarah said...

Deana, you have a way with words. I love, love, love duck rillettes. I might buy me a duck today. Great news on the ads! As soon as I get organized here, I plan to buy some of those tinctures (name escapes me) you use from time to time. I see you have madeira and cognac in these rillettes. Yum.

Taste of Beirut said...

I had heard of d'Artagnan years ago but never tried their products; I can just imagine how good your rillettes were with all these top of the line ingredients!

Deana Sidney said...

Mary>You are most kind... the feeling is mutual. I hope you revisit rillettes. I was inspired by a great pork version from FLYING PIGS in
AllOurFingers>Sarah, thanks... I harvested the breasts and used the rest for the stock and rillettes. so good. I am the madeira queen... I know I use it alot but I used to use plain old rainwater... the stuff I recommend is insanely better. It makes everything taste great. I also have to say I love having an alchemist's pantry of weird and wonderful things to cook with... it makes it so much fun!!
Taste of Beirut> They are really nice too... and their stuff is top of the line!!!

Deanna said...

I love rillettes. I just made some with chicken a month or so ago. The recipe called for butter which made them super easy to make.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I've never made rillettes but I do love duck so I'm sure it must taste wonderful. What a wonderful cast of ingredients!

Deana Sidney said...

Deanna> Great idea if you don't have enough fat... either alone or with the duck/chicken fat you have!!
Savoring Time> The ingredients do go together... there is a rich sweetness about it that is sooooo good!

Mimi said...

Your description is truly mouth watering. Lovely flavors all melded together. Most important your recipe is not intimidating.

pam said... fat.

Becky said...

Looks delicious, as per usual! I've just started sampling duck, and it is such a delight.

pierre said...

this is time for Apéritif here as this is Spring here in PAris !! so rillettes are welcome !! Pierre de Paris

Kitchen Butterfly said...

Love duck anything. The rillettes look scrumptious

pagnottella said...

Thanks for being passed by me and for the compliments, beautiful images of your blog, especially the hedgehog ...
see you soon ^ _ ^

Anonymous said...

I couldn't get enough of this when we were in France and I keep meaning to make my own one day. You post might just help me get my A into G. thanks

Deana Sidney said...

Mimi> thanks for saying that... it is a simple recipe and i did kind of talk through it...
Pam> yes a lot of duck fat!
Becky> although I do recommmend getting a D'artgnan duck... they are at most supermarkets these days so duck is easy to do.
Pierre>I never thought of rillettes as a SPring!
Kitchen Butterfly>Me too!
Pagnotella> Don't you just want a pet hedgehog??
peasepudding>get your a into g girl... this couldn't be easier!

Simply Life said...

wow, what an impressive meal!

ann low said...

This simply delicious!

Rita said...

I think I can almost taste it! Wonderful description; to die for. I sure wish I lived in your little corner. I want osme of that!

Esi said...

I've never had rillettes before. This recipe sounds interesting.

Faith said...

You definitely are a lucky lady! This dish is so elegant and sounds melt-in-your-mouth amazing. I love your pretty springtime pictures!

Tasty Trix said...

Okay, so how can I simultaneously feel sooo bad for that poor cute duck, and also love your writing so much that I keep reading all about it? You, my dear, are that good!

MaryMoh said...

What a beautiful picture of a duck.....innocent in all it's look and graceful in it post but then it's about slow cooked duck meat! Poor duck! Without looking at the first picture, I love your dish very much.

Deana Sidney said...

Simplylife> so many ways to use it!
Anncoo> Thanks for stopping by!
Sage>It is easy... just get a duck and try~
Esi> so many people think duck is difficult... it's not!
Faith> those forsythia were just too good to pass up.
Trix> thanks... I know it's a little scary for vegetarians... i tried to make it sound as good as it is.
MaryMoh> it's good sometimes to remember where food comes from. He is a lovely duck!

Anonymous said...

This dish sounds like an absolute heaven to me!

2 Stews said...

I love duck and rarely make it. I have to give this a try. Duck, Cognac, and spices are perfect mates.

Yes, food that is responsibly tended to is better for all....I do feel guilty about that cute white duck, though.


Sue said...

Wow - my mouth is watering! I love duck! When are you hoping to come over to the UK and whereabouts are you visiting?

Unknown said...

How lovely, this looks so delicious. I've had the salmon version of this, but never duck.
*kisses* HH

fimere said...

la photo du canard est splendide dommage qu'il finit dans l'assiette
mais cela semble tellement délicieux que ça donne envie d'y gouter
à bientôt

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Deanna dearest,

Oh thank you first of all, for coming to visit with me and being carried away in my world of words! I love words, am a teacher of language and an eternal learner of language. NOW...for this gorgeous post of yours....OMG. When I was in France, we ate Rabbit Rilettes. Yum. I LOVE DUCK as well.....I have never had Cassoulet, but that is made with duck and duck fat is divine. When I lived in Massachusetts, I remember seeing D'Artagnan products at Bread and Circus, and they had rabbit sausages!!! HEHEHE...I bed that is yummy. I made 3 rabbits once, marinated in white wine, rosemary, garlic, tomato, olive oil....there were 3 of us and at the end of that meal, not a trace of the darling little creatures! So good.

Thank you for coming by and your culinary visions dance in my head!!! Peace, Anita

BonjourRomance said...

This recipe sounds delicious. The way you described the rillet omelettes had all our louths watering. Thank you for stopping by and your kind comment. I'll be a follower and will be back soon.

Deana Sidney said...

5 star>You will love it!
2stews>you are the only one that noticed the bit about food ethics.. I like to keep throwing it in under the radar hoping it will stick!
Sue> so much fun to visit in UK.. let's hope!
Heavenly> the owner of Le Bernadin eats salmon rillettes every day... these are delicious too!!
Fimere> I do feel badly about the lovely duck.. but we hope he had a great life until the end!!
Castles>Your rabbits sound amazing... I just can't eat them ( had a pet when I was a child). If you liked rabbit rillettes, you will love duck... mmm good! Glad you liked my words.. yours are always so wonderful!
Bonjour Romance>thanks for stopping by... you will find the omelette very romantic!!

Fresh Local and Best said...

I always have leftover duck meat and fat whenever I roast this wonderful poultry. This a great way to give new life the the leftovers.

melopapilles said...

I love duck-rillettes ! and your pictures are so beautiful… thaks for your visit, and thanks to food with style !

Karina A. Fogliani-Ahmed said...

Secretariat... what a legend. Thanks for the memories.