Meet the true culinary treasure of French cuisine – Duck rillettes – a super delicious spread for a toasted baguette. We recommend you to cook plenty of rillettes, place the product in the glass jars or ceramic pots, redistribute fat over rillettes and cover with plastic wrap, put in a cool place for a couple of weeks. Serve as a cold appetizer with lightly toasted rustic bread, pre-warmed to room temperature.
- 3 lb. duck legs
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped thyme, plus 4 sprigs
- 1⁄4 cup kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 10 cups duck or chicken stock
- 1 tablespoons whole black peppercorns, lightly crushed, plus freshly ground, to taste
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons Armagnac or brandy
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoons grated orange zest
- 1⁄8 tablespoons ground cloves
- 1 cup duck fat
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Toast points, for serving
- Cornichons, pickled carrots, onions, radishes, or turnips, for serving (optional)
Place duck on a baking sheet. Rub with finely chopped thyme, salt, and ginger. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 4 hours or up to 8.
Brush excess spice mixture from duck and transfer to an 8-qt. saucepan. Add thyme sprigs, stock, peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves, and ginger; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered slightly, until meat is very tender (1,5 and up to 2 hours). Remove from heat and let cool in the pan until room temperature; cover and chill overnight.
Next day, uncover and scrape solidified fat from top of pan; set aside. Pull duck from pan and discard skin, bones, and gristle; finely shred meat. Strain and reserve 1⁄4 cup stock; save remaining stock for future use. Transfer meat to a bowl and add reserved stock, plus Armagnac, parsley, orange zest, cloves, salt, and pepper; stir to combine. Tightly pack rillettes into a 1-qt. baking dish or five 6-oz. ramekins. Melt reserved fat plus 1 cup duck fat in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat; pour over rillettes; cover with plastic wrap and chill until fat is solid. To serve, push fat aside and spread rillettes on toast points; garnish with cornichons or pickled vegetables if you like.