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Princess and The Bear

Duck Rillettes Salad with Orange-Ginger Vinaigrette

Duck Rillettes Salad with Orange-Ginger Vinaigrette
Recipe Date:
April 24, 2019
Cook Time:
Imperial (US)
One weekend make this recipe for the rillettes and cover with duck fat in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or freeze for 6 months. Then bring the prize out to make this salad or serve on toasts as an appetizer or as a sandwich with chutney mayonnaise. If duck and duck fat aren’t available at your grocer, they can be ordered online.
  • 2 3/4 to 1 lb rinsed duck breasts with skin, cut lengthwise into 2
  • 4 duck legs, rinsed and cut in half at the joint
  • 1 cup duck fat
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 juniper berries lightly crushed
  • 4 large sprigs of fresh thyme, or 2 T dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 C filtered water
  • Mixed bitter green such as arugula, radicchio, mâche and romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tbsp zested orange rind
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Finely sliced scallions
  • Toasted sesame seed

Preheat oven to 325°. Mix all ingredients but the water in a casserole dish, a little bigger than the quantity of your duck.  Then add the water and mix well.  Cover the casserole and cook for 4-5 hours.  Check it every hour to stir and, after 3 hours, to check the water level.  The duck should not boil so when you check it, lower the temperature if you need to. Toward the end, the duck should have absorbed almost all of the liquid and be moist, not dry and not sticking to the bottom of the casserole. Add water ½ C at a time if needed.   After 4 hours check the meat.  It should be very tender and the fat completely melted into the duck pieces.  Cook another ½ to 1 hour more if the meat seems at all firm.  Remove from the oven and let it cool uncovered for 30-45 minutes.  While it is still warm, drain off all liquid/fat and save it.  Put the duck pieces on a board and remove the bone, herbs, and any remaining skin pieces. Separate the duck meat with two forks or with your hands and fingernails shredding into fine clusters of threads.  There should be no chunks.  Do not cut at all, as this compresses the meat and hardens it.  Rillettes are light in texture so they can absorb the fat without being too heavy. After shredding and when the fat is beginning to set add most of the fat back into the meat and stir lightly to mix.  Pack this in crocks and freeze or cover the surface inside the crock entirely with duck fat and save in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.  Wait at least two days to serve the rillettes so flavors can blend.  For the salad: Assemble the greens on each plate.  Add ¾ C of duck meat scattered on top of greens on each plate. Mix the last 8 ingredients above with a whisk and 1 large ice cube until the vinaigrette comes together and then drizzle over the salad.  Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds. The La Dame from Terre des Dames wine will be FABulous with this salad!