These rillettes are perfect for appetizers with a cocktail or for hostess gifts during the holidays (or both!)
Keyword duck, pate
Prep Time 1hour30minutes
Cook Time 7hours
1whole duckabout 6 pounds
for spice rub
2generous teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2heaping teaspoons dried thyme
for the aromatics
12clovesgarliccrushed and peeled
3-inchknob of fresh gingerdon't worry about peeling, sliced into quarter inch pieces
peel from an orangeno white pith
1large bunch of fresh thyme
to assemble rillettes
cold duck meat
1 1/2tablespoonscognac or brandy
2tablespoonsroom temperature unsalted butter
2-3tablespoonswarm duck fatfrom the duck you've roasted
2tablespoonswarm duck stockfrom the duck you've roasted
dash of cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
for (optional) garnish
additional orange zest
4-6ramekinscanning jars or other half-pint sized crocks
Heat oven to 250 degrees.
In a small bowl mix together the kosher salt, black pepper and dried thyme. Set aside.
In a medium bowl combine the garlic, ginger, bay leaves, orange peel, thyme and peppercorns. Toss to combine with your hands. Set aside.
Place the duck in a roasting pan. Sprinkle the inside of the duck cavity with 1/3 of the spice rub. Sprinkle 1/3 on the back of the duck. With your hands, insert the potpourri fully into the duck cavity. Sprinkle duck breast with the remaining 1/3 of the spice rub.
Place the duck in the oven and cook for 7 hours, or until the duck meat is easy to pull away from the bones. Note: this low, slow method of cooking will render copious amounts of duck fat and jellied stock and may fill 1/3 of the baking dish. That's what you want.
Lift the duck and drain any fluids from it. Transfer to a cutting board. Place a sieve over a quart sized jar or other storage container and pour the drippings and stock through the strainer. Seal with a lid and refrigerate.
Remove the skin from the duck. Remove the flesh from the duck and transfer it to a sealed storage container and refrigerate overnight. You can discard the skin and bones from the duck (or keep them and make a really good duck stock).
Remove the stock/fat jar from the refrigerator. They will have separated into two distinct layers. The top is duck fat and the bottom layer is duck stock. Use a spoon to scoop out the top layer of duck fat and transfer to another container. You'll use a little bit of each for this recipe -- the rest can be saved for other uses (plenty of duck fat/stock recipes here).
IF USING A STAND MIXER:
Transfer the duck meat to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the cognac, softened butter, parsley, orange zest, dijon mustard and cayenne pepper. Add 2-3 tablespoons of duck fat and 2 tablespoons of the broth to the duck meat.
Attach the paddle attachment on the stand mixer and mix on a low speed until meat breaks apart and is incorporated with the other ingredients. 2-3 minutes.
IF MIXING BY HAND:
Use a wooden spoon and work the meat mixture into the other ingredients, until it's a fairly smooth consistency and all the ingredients are well combined.
Fill half-cup ramekins or canning jars with the duck mixture. Smooth the tops with the back of a spoon.
Top the aromatic duck rillettes with optional garnish and seal the rillettes with 1-2 tablespoons of additional duck fat. Cover and refrigerate for several days and up to a week for the flavors to marry.
Serve with crackers or crostini and a cocktail!
Crazy as it sounds -- my duck yielded 4 half-pint crocks.