As holiday budgets get tighter, many Americans are rethinking their holiday gift giving strategies and opting to spend less with homemade gifts.
Making your gifts, in addition to being lighter on your wallet, can also bring your family together. The recipe below is an easy and delicious way to make this holiday season special.
Rillettes are a rustic French paté made from slow cooked duck legs and a few basic seasonings. This savory and satisfying recipe is traditionally served on bread for a fun and different snack or appetizer. Best of all, they keep without refrigeration for days, making them a great choice if you’re traveling for the holidays.
2 duck legs
1/2 cup dry white wine (pinot grigio is great)
3-5 cloves of garlic
1 sprig each sage, thyme and rosemary
1 oven safe pot with a lid
small mason jars
Heat the pot on your stovetop over medium heat. Flop the legs, skin side down, into the pot. They will sizzle and pop. Don’t panic. You are just rendering the fat and browning the skin for maximum flavor.
Wait a couple minutes. Look at your duck legs. The skin should be starting to get crispy and brown. Turn the burner down to low and go watch Law and Order re-runs.
Come back 15-25 minutes later. Where did all this fat come from? Pour off the fat and set aside for later. Add your wine and scrape all the brown bits from the pan then add the garlic, herbs and a few big pinches of kosher salt. Put the lid on it and leave it alone for an hour and then turn it off.
When the legs get cool enough to touch, remove the bones leaving the skin and everything else in the pot. Now turn the stove back on to low and get a fork. When the duck meat has warm, smash and shred the duck skin/meat/garlic/herbs into the reserved fat. Taste the meat and add salt and a small amount of black pepper if need be and put into your mason jars and refrigerate.
While rillettes are fun, fancy and delicious, packaging counts. I like to cut squares of nice paper or colored tissues and wrap them from the bottom up, leaving the labeled top exposed, and secure the paper to the jar with string or ribbon. Let your imagination go and come up with your own packaging ideas. Just make sure that the jars are clean and dry before wrapping.