Duck Rillettes

recipe image



(5- to 5 1/2 pound) Pekin duck (sometimes called Long Island duck), including neck


tablespoons Armagnac or Cognac


cups plus 2 tablespoons water


medium shallots, sliced


garlic cloves, halved


carrots, 1 cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices and 1 finely chopped


sprigs fresh thyme


large bay leaf (not California)


3/4 teaspoons kosher salt


/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns


1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin


tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Accompaniment: 1/3-inch-thick baguette slices, toasted

Step 1

Cut breasts from duck and discard skin and all visible fat. Reserve legs and carcass for another use.

Step 2

Brown duck neck (halved if necessary) in a dry 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, turning once, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Pat duck breasts dry and season with salt and pepper, then add to pan and brown over moderate heat, turning once, about 8 minutes total. Transfer to plate with duck neck.

Step 3

Add Armagnac to pan and deglaze by boiling, scraping up any brown bits, until most of liquid is evaporated. Add 2 cups water, shallots, garlic, sliced carrot, thyme, bay leaf, kosher salt, peppercorns, and duck breasts and neck with any juices on plate and cook at a bare simmer, covered, 1 hour. Discard neck, then transfer breasts to a plate and cool. Shred duck meat, then chop.

Step 4

Pour broth through a sieve into a bowl, discarding solids. (If liquid measures less than 2 cups, add water.) Return to cleaned pan and add chopped carrot. Simmer, covered, until carrot is tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 5

While carrot is cooking, sprinkle gelatin over remaining 2 tablespoons water in a cup and let soften 1 minute.

Step 6

Stir softened gelatin into hot broth until dissolved, then stir in duck meat, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into crocks (you’ll have about 3 cups total) and chill, covered, until set, 3 to 4 hours. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes before serving.

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