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{Day 14} Duck Rillettes

On Day 4 of the Get your Jelly On challenge I presented you with Guillaume Brahimi’s gorgeous country-style pork belly terrine from his recently released book Guillaume Food for Friends , proceeds from which sale go to the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney.

I couldn’t resist but to cook another recipe from this beautiful cook and story book, and one my personal favourites from the charcuterie, duck rillettes.

Basically, rillettes is a coarse style of paté made from shredded meat and fat. Flavoured with fresh herbs, it makes a tasty addition to a cheese platter or a sandwich spread. And despite sounding quite complex it is quite easy to prepare at home. Pork and rabbit is also used to make the paste, but my favourite rendition is made with duck leg meat, which is moist and full of flavour.


Comment on any of the Royal Selangor Get Your Jelly On challenge posts on my blog to win an Olympus VG-110 camera – multiple entries allowed. Giveaway is open worldwide! Entries close October 30, midnight AEST. Winner will be announced on the blog on October 31.

Makes 1 cone (serves 2)

Duck rillettes

Adapted from Guillaume Food for Friends . You can use confit duck legs for a more speedy version or, if you like the five spice flavours of Peking duck, certain delis and supermarket sell pre-made Peking duck legs which can also be used for a slightly more aromatic and exotic version. I got my duck fat from Harris Farm.

For the rillettes:

  • 2 duck marylands (leg and thigh on the bone, skin on)
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 100ml duck fat (you can find this in most delis)
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1/2 tsp five spice
  • 3 cloves garlic; 1 halved, 2 unpeeled
  • 3 dried juniper berries, crushed
  • 50ml olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground white pepper

To serve:

  • Fire toasted sourdough bread or baguette
  • Cornichons or marinated chanterelles

To prepare the rillettes: place the duck, chicken stock, duck fat, herbs, five spice and the halved garlic clove in a mediu saucepan and cover with a sheet of baking paper cut to size. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 1 hour, or until the meat is falling off the bone. Remove the meat from the saucepan reserving 1/4 of a cup of the liquid for later.

While the duck is still hot, remove skin and bone (discard) and shred the meat with a fork. Place in a bowl and add the crushed juniper berries and reserved liquid and mix well to combine.

Place the olive oil in a small saucepan and add unpeeled garlic. Cook on low heat for to minutes, turning, or until the garlic becomes soft. Remove from the pan, peel and pass through a fine sieve into the duck mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon mixture into the mould and chill in the fridge until set (about 2 hours).

To serve: remove the mould from the fridge and turn out the rillettes onto a serving board. Stand at room temperature while you prepare the condiments of cornichons or marinated chanterelles and fire-toasted bread.


Tammy October 14, 2011 at 1:39 pm

This dish sounds wonderful!

Nic October 14, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Duck is one of my favourites, can never get enough! Looks easy and delicious.

Sharni October 14, 2011 at 1:40 pm

I didn’t realise how easy it was to make this dish at home, thanks for the lovely recipe.

Wholesome Cook October 15, 2011 at 12:10 pm

You are welcome, it is a good recipe for novice cooks. Not much can go wrong here…

Three-Cookies October 14, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Nice, look of good eating during this challenge, and of course other times as well

Wholesome Cook October 15, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Yes, although there’s no more element of surprise when the dish comes out – they are all cone-shaped. I mean there is flavourwise, just not shapewise.

Ninazsyafinaz October 14, 2011 at 6:34 pm

The fresh rosemary between it look so beautiful make the dish look so elegant!

Nami | Just One Cookbook October 14, 2011 at 7:11 pm

It’s my first time learning about rillettes and I can already see my husband who loves duck will absolutely love this dish. I need to send this link to him…. as always your cooking skills amazed me! Thanks for sharing!

Wholesome Cook October 15, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Thank you Nami – I’m a big duck lover too, and this is one of my favourite ways to enjoy duck the Western way.

Anne S October 14, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Sounds like a really nice way to use over leftover roast too.

Wholesome Cook October 15, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Yes! It is actually, great suggestion!

TC October 14, 2011 at 11:42 pm

alas, pate is one of those things that I think tastes fantastic on the first bite but then I’ve had more than enough on the second bite.

sara (Belly Rumbles) October 15, 2011 at 1:24 am

One of my most fave things in this world beside my family and friends, duck rillettes!!

Wholesome Cook October 15, 2011 at 12:13 pm

LOL! You are funny Sara! They are good are’t they?

Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide October 15, 2011 at 2:23 am

I love how you garnished it.

Sissi October 15, 2011 at 2:29 am

Your rillettes sound luscious, pleasantly fat and soft like I love them (and duck fat is the best of all fats!). Strangely, as a huge fan of rillettes, I rarely see them made with duck, and never at the butcher’s (I have seen only in supermarkets), so I have never tasted them. Since I haven’t tasted the duck rillettes, my favourite ones are made with goose, but nothing can beat the pork rillettes I had in Brettany (the French region specialised in pork products).
I often prepare duck confit (too often actually 😉 ), I will make one additional leg next time and try this wonderful recipe!

Wholesome Cook October 15, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Oh I can imagine the taste of the pork rillettes in France… fresh with earthy herbs and a splash of brandy or port even. Gorgeous! We have a couple of butchers in Sydney who sell rabbit, pork and duck rillettes – very delicious, but I’ve found them to be quite easy to make at home too. And I’ve never seen goose rillettes here!

Amber October 15, 2011 at 2:59 am

Wow a fantastic recipe for duck, I think this recipe would be great even for a beginner cook like me.

Wholesome Cook October 15, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Definitely an easy to follow and make recipe. And very tasty!

Courtney October 15, 2011 at 4:10 am

Sounds so interesting! Again, amazed at your creativity. Simply amazed.

ChopinandMysaucepan October 15, 2011 at 8:28 am

Love the coarse texture and rich flavours of this delicious rillettes especially on fire-toasted bread!!!

Sarah O. October 15, 2011 at 3:31 pm

I’ve never had duck before, I’ve got to get that on my to-do list pronto!

Mary October 17, 2011 at 9:12 am

I wanna live at your place! Specifically, in your kitchen. Plz. Kthnx. 🙂

Mez October 18, 2011 at 11:37 am

OK a Terrine I’d be a little scared to attempt but THIS looks do able!! We have a great butcher near us that has duck of all sorts… I’d be happy to whip this up one Saturday afternoon for an evening charcutere board! (I can’t spell charcutere haahaha I know you will know what I mean).



Roxana B October 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Very interesting. Haven’t really had too much duck in my time. But its definitely worth a try. 🙂

jasmine1485 October 18, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Sounds as though it would be wonderful spread on a piece of crusty bread and enjoyed on a long summer afternoon, I’ve seen pork rillettes made before but not duck.

Alex October 19, 2011 at 3:58 pm

looks fancy!

Vivian - vxdollface October 19, 2011 at 5:38 pm

great way to serve up a rillette!

Ming October 26, 2011 at 5:25 am

I haven’t eaten duck before but I always wanted to try.

Christine October 27, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Love the idea of using the ready-made Peking duck legs.


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