by: Max M Rasmussen

Rillette of Duck - Duck Rillette - Rillette de Canard

Duck Rillette With Pickles - Max M Rasmussen
Rilette is a method of preserving meat in fat, as a kind of finely divided "head cheese". The fat ensures an oxygen-free environment that prevents salmonella and other nasty bacterias. It tastes great, and once in a while I just have to have it. It is also a great sandwich filler.


Provides approx. 800 g (1½ lbs) rilette.

  • 2 duck carcasses with any meat leftovers (or 3 duck legs) 
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • pepper (optional) 
  • 1 bouquet of fresh thyme, or 2 teaspoons dried 


Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and cover with water.

Simmer for 2-3 hours, until the meat falls of the bones.

Remove the meat from the stock with a slotted spoon, or using a sieve.

Peel all the meat of the bones. Remove leftover fat cartilage and bone.

Separate or "mince" the meat with your fingers or a mixer.

Mix the melted fat back into the meat until it feels like a homogenous mass. 50% - 100% of the meat's weight added as fat. You will probably need almost all the fat that floats to the top of the stock to pour back into the meat mix.

Pour the finished mixture into a jar.

Cover completely with the remaining grease.

Refrigerate until you want to eat.


You don't have to do it like in this recipe. If you rost a whole duck, or a goose, you should not give the carcass to the in-laws to bring back home. Just separate the meat from the bones, season with salt and mix in the fat from the roasting pan. Then you got a great dish for the next few days. That is the absolute easiest way to make a rilette.

But it is no problem to make a rilette out of a whole duck either. I do this regularly for parties when I have many guests. Just separate the duck into quarts, and cook it in a pot for 2-3 hours, until it falls apart. Or one hour in the pressure cooker.

Again virtually all the fat from the duck should be put back in the meat. A whole duck yields approx. 1½ -2 kg (3-4 lbs) rilette.

If the rilette seem to dry and you have no more fat, you can just some of the stock too.