Duck Rillettes

Fat is Flavor!

Long ago, before refrigeration, meat was made into a confit, which meant it was rubbed with salt, herbs and spices then cooked and stored in fat, to preserve it for the winter ahead when there would be little fresh meat available. These vats of fatted meat would be stored in the cool cellar for months with no adverse effect – the salt cured the meat and inhibited bacterial growth and the fat sealed out air. Pork and duck rillettes, duck leg confit and whole goose livers in fat gave the farmers and village people the extra energy necessary to keep warm and go about their winter labor. Any meat, game or poultry made into a confit is flavorful and succulent.

I like to make confit when the weather turns cold. Not that I don’t sometimes make it in the summer, I just think it makes more sense to have the oven on for a few hours when it can do double duty and also heat the house. Bulky cold weather sweaters also help to hide the end result of gorging on duck confit and one of my favorite by products of confit – Rillettes!!

Rillettes make a great partner to fragrant, fruity and high acid white or red wines. I particularly enjoy rillettes slathered on homemade sesame crackers washed down with RSV’s Los Carneros Pinot Noir. Sesame pulls the rillettes and crackers together to make a taste sensation and the crunch of the crackers offset the rich fattiness of the rillettes.

There are plenty of commercially available rillettes if you don’t have time for homemade. I do recommend making your own crackers if you go this route. The crackers are simple to make and won’t take up a lot of your time.

Until the Next Wine…. 
Maria- Robert Sinskey Wines

Roasted Duck

Duck cooked in dry heat, usually an oven, usually with added fat.