Loaded Duck Rillettes on Toasted Fat Bread

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The other day when I was composing my post on tuna salad I suddenly thought of rillettes (pronounced ‘ree-yet’), a sort of French rustic pâté. Many homes I was lucky enough to dine at back in my years there always had a crock of rillettes—pork or duck typically. It keeps for a long time without refrigeration and is alwways served room temperature.

Here’s the description from Wikipedia.

Rillettes is a preparation of meat similar to pâté. Originally made with pork, the meat is cubed or chopped, salted heavily and cooked slowly in fat until it is tender enough to be easily shredded, and then cooled with enough of the fat to form a paste. They are normally used as spread on bread or toast and served at room temperature.

Rillettes are also made with other meats, goose, duck, chicken, game birds, rabbit and sometimes with fish such as anchovies, tuna or salmon.

And my are they good. Very fatty. It’s like a French form of pemmican. I thought of them because mayonnaise for tuna salad is a pain in the ass—bad for you if purchased from the store because of the frankenoils they use to make it…a chore to make at home.

But what if you could make “loaded” tuna rillettes as a surrogate for tuna salad, but use an animal fat such as butter, duck fat, leaf lard, bacon fat, etc., instead? So I set off to experiment. What would be the consistency if I took duck rillettes and loaded them up with the ingredients one might put in tuna salad? That’s exactly what I did.

IMG 1133
Rillettes du Périgord

I love an ingredient list like this: duck meat, duck fat, duck stock, duck liver, corn starch (not that one), salt, black pepper, nutmeg, bay leaf, thyme. IOW: lottsa duck. It was chilled, so I let it get to room temperature. Chopped up onion, cornichon style pickles, then added bacon bits, a dusting of garlic powder, more black pepper, and a spluge of dijon mustard.

IMG 1135
Relative proportions

Well, it came out just like a tuna salad in terms of consistency. I mixed it all up and popped it in the fridge for a few hours in order for the flavors to release, then mixed it up again.

IMG 1138
Looks like…tuna salad!

Well, it doesn’t taste like tuna salad but my oh my was it good! I determined we would have it for dinner, so I sliced up some Fat Bread, toasted the slices on the rack under the broiler, both sides, and cut them in half. A small green salad served alongside.

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Big small meal

A back of the envelope calculation puts the caloric value somewhere around 1,500—the Fat Bread being so dense, and then all the fat in the “duck salad.” Bea and I were very satisfied. Stuffed, even.

Here’s a closeup shot.

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Duck Salad Rillettes

You’ll want to try this. It is pricey, however. That 7 oz container was about $12 at Whole Foods. I haven’t checked online.

In terms of fish rillettes, it already exists. Here’s a recipe for salmon that uses butter for the fat. And here’s one for tuna that uses butter and heavy cream. Another that uses olive oil—but of course everyone knows how to do that already. My grandmother had a recipe for a similar thing to spread on crackers using smoked salmon, cream cheese, and a few other ingredients I don’t recall. It’s quite rich, intended for small bites, so perhaps not the best thing for a sandwich.

At any rate, I’ll see if I can get hold of some duck fat and leaf lard and try both. I’m leery of trying butter, but perhaps a small test batch would be called for. Since I love bacon in tuna salad, trying bacon fat is a must as well.

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  1. OMFG that looks good.

  2. Amy Haines says:

    I’ve been making rillettes out of sardines for awhile, as a way to make them palatable to my kids. Sometimes I use butter but often it’s strained full-fat yogurt or cream cheese, some thyme or dill, salt and pepper, and maybe a bit of onion powder. For the kids I don’t season my rillettes too heavily. When I make it for my husband or if we have guests, I get a little un-traditional and spice it up with Sriracha and add finely chopped celery and onions. I find it helps people to eat it if you don’t tell them it’s sardines.

    I have made Jacques Pepin’s traditional rillettes recipe using leftover pork and duck fat and was blown away by the flavor. I will try duck fat in my sardines rillettes the next time I prepare them. I forgot how rich and flavorful the duck fat makes…pretty much everything.

  3. Big fat-ass paleo.
    Get off the fat. Not to mention the pufas.

    Google the okinawans and the kitavans.

    And yes richard, you can tell me to fuck off. Let’s just pre-empt that shit. I can hereby fuck off.

    So fuck me and fuck you.

    • Hi Steve, you cunt. Do whatever works for you buddy. Okinawan shit probably works well for okinawans. Fuck, that fruitarian shit even seems to work for some people. Is there one thing that works for everyone? I fucking doubt it very fucking much. I’ve fucked around with every fucking thing in the diet world and I know what works for me. High protein, moderate fat, carbs to suit daily activities and most important of all – lift really heavy shit (700lb leg presses for example) and fuck that cardio shit off. Fuck you and the fucking horse you rode in on you useless cunt Steve.

    • EatLessMoveMoore says:

      @ Steve,

      Wow. Quite possibly the most perfect FTA comment EVER. And its general thrust is totally irrelevant! This is how you fight like the big boys. If only the little girls got that memo…

    • Steve

      How about you give me a PUFA rundown of fat bread, and please do your research.

      • Yaah,
        the percentage pufas may be low, but its still a pants-load.

      • “the percentage pufas may be low, but its still a pants-load.”

        Nope, minuscule in percentage (about 3% as I recall) for all pufa and minuscule in absolute terms, especially when considering just a slice or two of the bread.

        If you’re talking the duck, it’s about the same as pork, 12-13% pufa, 50% mono, high 40s sat. You’re not going to get a big pufa load either way. Besides, nobody is talking about existing on this as a staple.

        You’re being silly all the way around.

      • Rich,
        this is all good news.
        Thanks for everything.

      • And you’re welcome.

  4. steve = ELMM, now butthurt after Richard called him out.

    How’s the job search going, pal?

  5. Richard, I think from now on you should summarily delete every comment that doesn’t include the word “fuck.”

    You fucktard. 😉

  6. Wow! That looks awesome!! I wonder whether I could get rillettes in Singapore too.

  7. EatLessMoveMoore says:

    What happened to ‘calories count’?

  8. dr. gabriella kadar says:

    In re: German Grandmothers and stuff they make: there’s also smoked mackerel mashed up with various ingredients including cream cheese and butter.

  9. When Fat Tuesday rolls around I’m going to hollow out an entire loaf and stuff it with fried oysters, it’ll be a Fat Tuesday Fat Bread Po’Boy

    • What you do with the part of the Fat Bread that you scoop out to make the Po’ Boy, you make some Fat Bread Pudding With Bourbon Sauce.

      • Y’all go with it, I want to see Fat Bread recipes beyond the bread part.

        I’ve been mulling over a biscuits & gravy. Should be pretty easy. Do the fat bread on a cupcake pan. Have done country gravy with coconut milk and country sausage, but I think I can do better.

    • You just made me think of this video about making an 18th century asparagus dish that left me drooling and longing for bread again: http://youtu.be/Y8R-w0uhNGU

      Gonna have to try it with the Fat Bread.

      • Not sure how that would work with fat bread but i sure enjoyed that video and it has to be really special for me to watch that long.

      • I’m not sure if it would work for fat bread either, but I may have to try some variation.

        So glad you enjoyed the video! I’m kinda addicted to all their videos. The 18th century cooking series is fascinating, educational and prone to making me drool, in spite of the prevalence of wheat in almost every recipe. Season 1 features videos on how to make things like salt pork & mushroom “ketchup”, cooking over an open fire and how to make an earthen oven. The topics are very thoroughly researched and the passion for what they do really comes through. Their advertisement videos for their products (and their products, I might add) are excellent, as well.

  10. Speaking of cunts,
    where has Nigel been?

  11. This is a great idea for my skinny paleo kids. Would love more ideas as you play with these recipes.

  12. Duck Rillettes is really super-easy to make. I used the recipe in Martha Stewart’s cookbook, and added some cognac. Gods it was good. It needed something piquant to go with it though, so I served it with pickled (brined, really, no sugar added) beets, garlic dill pickles, and – best of all – pure horse radish!

    I used rice crackers back then, but now I have the Fat Bread! Which I made today (subbing cashews for macadamias since I couldn’t find raw macs locally, and didn’t want to pay the exorbitant price for ordering online). LOVE it! I had a real tuna melt with homemade mayo that also came out perfectly, thanks to you!

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