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Rillettes Recipe and Memories of Canada

Rillettes de Canard
Rillettes de Canard © Copyright Azlin Bloor from Lin's Food

Rillettes of Duck


This is the first contribution to a new series about the Regional cuisines of the world that we start with Azlin Bloor from LinsFood. In it we will introduce you to regional recipes that we brought home from our travels. Azlin is a cook and will show you in her videos how to cook these dishes. We start with a recipe for a dish I've been dreaming of for years: Rillettes de Canard or "Potted Duck" as it is called in English. I ate this for the first time many years ago in a hotel in Quebec City. It was served there every morning for breakfast. This delicious duck dish sweetened my Québec stays every morning.

Rillettes is actually a French specialty. In the capital of the French-Canadian province Quebec, they are served quite often. People often cook traditional French recipes in this region. This dish was easy to prepare for the first French settlers in the country. Poultry abounds in the province's lakes. The French settlers used ducks and geese as ingredients for their main meals. One of the earliest colonists, Samuel de Champlain, kept his companions happy with good food. His Order de Bon Temps was a kind of culinary men's club, in which every member had to cook a feast with the game he had shot. Champlain made sure, that his men survived the first winter in Canada. With good food and in high spirits. Rillettes de Canard certainly played a role in this.

Ingredients for a roast poultry
Ingredients for a roast poultry for a feast at Ordre du Bon Temps in Canada

Where did the recipe come from?

This meat paste was originally made in France. The type of meat can vary. They come with pork, goose or duck. Even rabbit meat is used for this. The canned meat dish is now also known in England. Even in Germany there is a regional specialty that reminds of it. In the Harz, lard is prepared with more herbs and spices than in France. There it is known as “Pottsuse”.

The meat is cooked in its own fat at a low level until it breaks down easily. This can take three to four hours. Then the meat is chopped up. It gets its flavor from herbs, alcohol as desired and the meat's own fat, which ensures the durability of the dish. Place the meat paste in a glass or container and cover it generously with the boiled fat. This will make it last longer.

The dish can also be prepared with fish. I haven't tried that yet.

How do you eat rillettes?

The canned meat stays chilled in the refrigerator for up to a week. With us it rarely lasts that long. I like to do it for starters on special occasions. This year we are serving rillettes on Christmas Eve. It tastes best on a simple baguette. The taste of the meat should play the main role. Then its taste comes into its own.

Here I introduce you to a recipe from Azlin Bloor from LinsFood, that is easy to cook. The video is from Lin's YouTube channel, which I can highly recommend to anyone interested in the world's cuisines. It shows how to cook the dish.

Ingredients for one serving

Two duck legs
Two heaping tablespoons of duck fat
250 ml dry white wine (optional)
Three cloves of garlic
Three sprigs of thyme
Two sprigs of rosemary
A teaspoon of black peppercorns
A teaspoon of salt

For the marinade:

Two cloves of garlic
A sprig of rosemary
Two sprigs of fresh thyme
A heaping tablespoon of salt
A tablespoon of calvados

For crushing and potting:

Two tablespoons of calvados or brandy (optional)
A teaspoon of salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Videos are subject to copyright

Preparation of duck rillettes

Marinate the duck legs overnight

Crush garlic, thyme, rosemary and salt in a mortar until a coarse paste forms. Stir in the calvados.

Rub the paste over the duck legs and into all folds and under the skin where possible.

Put them in a container, cover with cling film and put in the fridge overnight.

Cooking the duck legs

Wash the duck legs well and dry them.

Heat the duck fat in a flat pan over medium heat.

Fry the duck legs on both sides, about two minutes each.

Add the white wine. The duck fat will splash, so be careful! Then add enough water, until the duck legs are completely covered with liquid. The skin side must face upwards.

Add garlic, thyme, rosemary, peppercorns and salt and bring to a boil.

Then turn the heat back on and let the meat simmer for three to four hours. In the end, the meat must be very fine and easily detached from the bone.

When it's done, take the meat off the heat and let it cool covered.

Chopping and potting

When the meat is cool enough, separate it from the bones. Remove the skin, tendons and ligaments.

Put the meat in a bowl and chop it with two forks. Add cooking liquid and fat, that provide the taste. Add the calvados and plenty of salt and pepper.

Then you fill the meat in glasses. Skim the fat off the cooking liquid and spread it over the meat, so that it is completely covered.

Seal the jars with aluminum foil or a screw cap and refrigerate them for at least 24 hours to a week before you eat the duck rillettes.

In Lin's video you can see how easy it is to prepare.

We wish you good appetite.

Rillettes de Canard Pinterest
Click on the photo and pin “Rillettes de Canard” on Pinterest

Source: own research and recipe and video by Azlin Bloor from LinsFood

Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline and Azlin Bloor
Video © Copyright Azlin Bloor, LinsFood

Responses

  1. Azlin Bloor
    | Reply

    I really enjoyed this article, Monika, and learned a few things while reading it. I'm really looking forward to this collaboration, and all the exciting places and foods we will see!

    • Monika & Petar Fox
      | Reply

      Hi Azlin,

      thank you Azlin for your participation in this project. I have got lots of food specialties, I encountered on our trips through the world and many stories to tell. It will be interesting to see them come alive in your videos and recipes again - and hopefully in my own kitchen, too.

      I am looking forward to this series.

      Cheers,
      Monika

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