Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Duck Rillettes – It Only Tastes Like Duck Butter with Extra Butter

Duck rillettes is one of the most amazing culinary magic tricks of all time. Even though most of the spread is made up of fairly lean duck meat, by emulsifying in a little butter, duck fat, and duck gelatin, you’ll swear the final product has the fat content of the finest foie gras torchon. By the way, I miss foie gras torchon.

The key here is to mash the large chunks of cold duck with the warm duck fat and gelatin. As the meat breaks down, the fat cools and turns the whole bowl into creamy duck spread heaven. Pack it in a crock, keep it sealed with a layer of fat, and you have an incredibly tasty snack that will last long into the winter months.

Some chefs prefer to let the duck sit overnight with the rub on, and “potpourri” in, but I skip that step, and instead let the duck cool in it’s own juices after roasting, and then sit overnight in the fridge, to continue developing flavor. Once made, it can be enjoyed right away, but if you can hold off a few days, it will really come into its own. Or eat right away, and in a few days.

I know it’s a little early for edible holiday gift ideas, but keep this one in mind. The only problem is, once you’ve given duck rillettes as a gift, you’ll never give a gift as good. Just a little heads-up. That aside, I really hope you give this preserved duck spread a try soon. Enjoy!



Ingredients for about 3 cups of Duck Rillettes:
1 whole duck (about 4 1/2 pounds)
- For spice rub:
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 generous teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme
- For the potpourri:
12 cloves garlic
six 1/4-inch slices fresh ginger
3 bay leaves
peel from 1 orange (only orange parts)
1 generous bunch fresh thyme

- Roast duck at 250 F. for about 5-6 hours, or until meat pulls away from the bones

To finish:
cold pulled duck meat
1 tablespoon Armagnac or cognac or other brandy
2 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
2-3 tablespoons warm duck fat (add as needed)
2 tablespoons warm duck stock
2 teaspoons parsley
1 teaspoons chive
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne

53 comments:

Jason Smith said...

With all due respect to Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar: "Shaaaaaaa-wing!!"

Mandyrose said...

This looks very interesting! I was wondering: what happens with the potpourri? I assume you take it out?

Jason C said...

Is this similar to potted meat? A neighbor gave me some potted elk meat that was a similar product and it had the fat cap on top. I think he said he'd oven canned it (which after some research doesn't seem like a very safe way to can).

Arianne said...

First off, this looks amazing. I just have a question, being a lover of using duck fat in other recipes (fried potatoes!!) when I prepare my duck I do a cross hatch cut into the skin, but not through it, and then flip and stab every hour or so to help that tasty fat find its way out of the duck. I usually just store it in the fridge as it tends to get used up rather quickly. My question is whether or not I could combine prep and cooking techniques?

My concern is that the fat will be compromised with these added ingredients?

Thank you, and I can't wait to try this with the next duck we roast!

Gdegas said...

Chef John!

I lived in France for a year (my dads from there) and there was nothing as foreign and as amazing as rillette! It was literally my favorite thing to eat there! thank you for this! on a last note, just out of curiosity is this like the fast version or dare i say american version?

Brenda Triggs said...

Chef John, with all due respect are you still staying faithful to your blog's title or do you feel nowadays that the majority of food wishes are things you've already done or are simply too plain? I only ask because I can't imagine duck rillettes being a very common food wish! Apologies if this is not so.

Chef John said...

Arianne, sorry, not sure what you mean, but the extra fat would be fine to use for anything.

Gdegas, not sure what version this is, other than mine! ;)

Chef John said...

Mandyrose, yes, the potpourri serves it's purpose in the oven. Just discard (or you can add to the stock if you want)

michelou said...

I love the idea of giving this for a holiday gift. Just wondering how long it keeps for?

rike-tikki-tavi said...

I love rillettes and this looks fantastic. Guess I know what I'll be doing next weekend.

LINDSAY ROWLEY said...

Very excited to try this, but curious as to how long it will keep for??

Francine Lizotte said...

Bonjour Chef John,

We, my fiancé and I, are big fans of yours! You're Awesome!

I am French and here's a little tip from our complex language. We never pronounce the last letter of mostly all words nor the "s" at the end. Why? I don't know! Probably cause we are a bunch of lazy people! Just blame it on Molière (our French Shakespeare)!

Here's a question for you. I really love the technique you used to cook the rillettes. I was wondering if the same technique can be apply for Duck à l'Orange. My technique sucked! I sit in front of the oven for a couple hours until it's done. Not a fun way to be entertained and sadly not when guests are over. Please let me know your thoughts when you have a chance.

Merçi beaucoup pour toutes vos merveilleuses recettes que vous partager avec nous....

Okay I was saying "thanks a lot for all your amazing recipes that you share with us. I know sometimes I can be a "smarty pants"

Francine

Larry Hudson said...

Hey Chef John, can you give us an idea of about how long this keeps? It sounds like a while, but can you be more specific? Thanks!

CaptChris said...

You mentioned at the end of the video about this originally being done with pork. Since I am in the middle of the jungle in Costa Rica, Duck is a little hard to find, but pork is easily available. What cut of pork would you suggest if I wanted to try this? Does chicken have enough fat? We also have lots of those. Thanks Chef John!

Sandy said...

Oh, Chef John...you are awesome. Not only do you teach me how to make so many tasty recipes, you also encourage me to relive my youth through pre-superduperstardom Beyonce lyrics.

Chef John said...

It will easily keep for a few weeks, but if you keep it sealed with fat, probably much longer. This also depends on the salt content.

You can freeze!

TruePerception said...

That sounds really good, but fairly expensive to me, with all of those ingredients. What would you say a batch of this runs you?

Dawn's Recipes said...

That looks amazing! I will definitel be trying it.

I have a tip from my high school French teacher I'd like to share. I graduated in 1994 and still remember it, so it's a good one. You never pounce a consonant unless a vowel immediately follows, except for those found in the word CaReFuL. So you wouldn't prounce an s found a the end of a word.

Angela said...

What an awesome recipe. You make it look so easy!

Tom Bremer said...

So what is it about duck that it can keep for so long without spoiling? Just curious? I have never cooked duck! I imagine chicken going bad after a few days.

Chef John said...

I believe it's the salt that preserves it, as well as being kept airtight with the layer of fat. But it usually doesn't last too long anyway. ;)

epichazeltime said...

Hey Chef John, will this recipe work with chicken? If not how to modify this recipe using chicken?

Jeremy Clements said...

Hi Chef,

This used much less wrapping than your confit technique. Is there a reason this is different, or could I do confit with just a couple looser wraps?

Sandra from Montreal said...

Mmmmmm.... :)
And, yes, we don't pronounce s at the end of words in French.

Michael Glavich said...

This looks great! I can't wait to try it. I love anything duck. And of course, the crostini dijonnaise will be served with it. I have a question though, where did you get those Jars? I love that style jar, and would love to know where to get them.

Thanks Chef!

-Mike

Chef John said...

I never tried, but don't think this works with chicken. If it did, it would be a common thing. ;)

Steve Kennedy said...

Michael Glavich - Target sells them in the kitchen section, my wife picked me up 3 of them yesterday.

Unknown said...

Should this be served cold or at room temperature?

Yoshi said...

I was just wondering if it will work with Turkey.

Victoria Ng said...

Dear Chef John,

What size jar did you use in video? Just wondering how big a jar I should get for making this rillettes. Thanks!

Chef John said...

That's a pint, but the recipe will makes about 3 cups.

Dreampie said...

I made this today... With turkey wings (from a local farm), I couldn't get duck, and I had plenty of turkey. Although it made a great spread on rye crisp bread for a picnic, very tasty indeed, loved the spices, it would obviously have been much creamier and richer with duck. I had to resort to the food processor as the turkey meat is firmer. But I was not unhappy with the result. Sorry Chef for bastardizing your beautiful recipe, but I had to try it!
Love your style!

mamapua kam said...

So after packing as directed, this does not have to be refrigerated correct?

Chef John said...

This MUST be refrigerated.

Clemence Martin said...

Hi chef John. Im french and when i eat rilletes i dont taste orange. So i was wondering if we could taste the orange, and if yes, if we could leave them out.

Chef John said...

You can definitely taste some orange, otherwise we wouldn't have added. And of course you can leave it out!

Cdg said...

Chef John, could this be frozen and thawed when ready to use? Also , is it supposed to be served cold or room temp? Thanks

Chef John said...

Yes it can be frozen. I prefer it served cold. Enjoy!

Aaron Will said...

Has anyone tried this recipe with Wild duck. The duck shown in the directions has a lot of light (White) meat. Wild duck has zero white meat and a much stronger flavor. Just curious if the flavors come out well with wild.

Trong Nguyen said...

Bringing this to a dinner party tonight. Hoping it'll rock!! (and put the cream corn casserole to shame)

pmichael said...

Totally made this and it was delicious.

The orange and brandy aren't optional!

Here are some pics:
http://pierresfoodiebits.blogspot.com/2014/11/duck-rillettes.html

Ewoud Vanhee said...

- hi chef John here in belgium rilletts are very commen Fish,duck vealhead,..

But i never made it my self . this recipe inspired me to to try it and make hennepot witch means chicken pot translated
So I replace the duck whit chicken the orange whit lemon the cognac whit calvados and kriek geuze(just because I’m Belgian I need to try to put some beer in there somewhere :p).
And it turned out great was a little afraid i wasn’t going to have enough gelatin/fat but it was fine.
For the rest I followed the recipe feels kind of strange to have to learn the technique from an American since it’s so common in our area but that’s fin ,(I guess :p) thanks for the recipe.

Laura Van Allen said...

If you cannot find the duck at a regular market, hit an asian market. Ive seen them there. Usually around the holiday season but they always have duck breasts. If you need to subsitute, which i think you would be able to.... upon Chef John's advice, you could make it with the breasts.

Steven Tran said...

Chef John,

What's the purpose of refrigerating the duck after taking it out of the oven? Would it not be easier to take off the meat from the duck when it's at room temp. and then put it in the fridge to let it cool down? Also, this would eliminate having to heat up the duck drippings again.


Best,

Steven

Chef John said...

I believe you get a better texture using my method, but you're the boss! ;)

Ether said...

Any suggestions on what can be substituted for the alcohol in this? My household is clean and sober, so alcohols are not an option.

Daz said...

I just made this and have a ton of gelatin leftover. Any tasty suggestions on what I can do with it?

Chris K. said...

Fantastic recipe. What Chef John neglects to tell you is that while you're waiting for the duck to cool down, your home will smell insanely good, and you must resist the urge to devour the duck and slather your face in the rendered fat and gelatin.

Tom Sobieski said...

I'm assuming that this can also be done with chicken,m nice fatty chicken?

Adriana said...

I just got back from the Dordogne region of France where duck and duck fat rule!

Would a slow cooker be an option for this recipe?

Shaylon Cochran said...

Had plently left over after filling two small crocks for gifts. A big spoonful in the pan with over-easy eggs is both delicious and a very impressive breakfast dish for a weekend ski date. Because you cook it all in the duck fat, of course.

Shaylon Cochran said...

Had plenty left over after filling two small crocks for gifts. A big spoonful in the pan with over-easy eggs and sourdough toast is both delicious and an impressive breakfast dish for a weekend ski date.

Maciej Kubiński said...

Did that for holidays... it was amazing. Thanks Chef Jhon. Greetings from Poland :)