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Duck Rillettes To Die For

Duck Rillettes

Unctuous and oh-so-rich, rillettes are potted jars or terrines of shredded duck confit packed in even more fat. A little dab goes a long way, which is why the French call the process of making rillettes “stretching.” It’s an ingenious food preservation method that matches the no-waste ethos of thrift with the luxurious richness of fat.


  • 4 legs duck confit
  • 1 tablespoon Calvados or other brandy
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons melted duck fat plus more for sealing
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste


  • Remove meat and skin from duck legs and discard bones. Shred meat and finely chop skin, then transfer to a large bowl. Add Calvados and stir. Add duck fat, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring between additions, until meat is moist with a spreadable consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper as necessary.
  • Pack meat into an 8-ounce terrine or 2 4-ounce ramekins, pressing down gently to compress, and leaving about a ½ inch clear at the top for the fat seal. Refrigerate uncovered for 1 hour. Remove and pour a layer of melted fat, about a ¼-inch thick, over meat to completely seal terrines.
  • Cover and refrigerate rillettes for at least 1 day, or up to 1 month, to let flavors develop. Bring rillettes to room temperature before serving; we love them as part of a cheese and charcuterie board with bread, cornichons, and Dijon mustard.

Featured image courtesy: Stuart Spivack/flickr.com

Lynda Balslev

Lynda Balslev is an award-winning food writer, editor and recipe developer based in the San Francisco Bay area. She writes about food and travel, and contributes to Marin Magazine, NPR, Relish Magazine, and authors the nationally syndicated column (June 2017) and blog TasteFood, a compilation of original recipes with photos and stories, inspired by her food, family, and travel experiences.

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