At last I have come to the last tasty bits of the beautiful duck I started with in Part 1. With the one last confit leg I decided to do a couple things. First I made the exceedingly simple and tasty meat "jam" called rillettes and then I utilized some of the rillettes to make Agnolotti. Before I go into the details on how I made the stuff I wanted to do a little cost/benefit analysis. I think a lot of people believe that duck is an expensive luxury meat, not really economical enough to eat on a regular basis. This is not necessarily true, I got several hearty dishes out of the 1 duck carcass along with some pantry items and vegetables. Here is a list and approximate price for what I used.
1 x Duck =9.95$
1 x Carrot bunch=2.50$
2 x Onion=2.00$
1 x Celery bunch= 2.00$
1 x Lard (lb)=1.79$
1 x Bag o'Beans=1.50$
1 x Salt Pork (lb)=2.00$
1 x Weisswurst=5.00$
1 x Can Tomatoes=.99$
1 x Shallot=.25$
1 x Mushroom=.50$
1 x Glass wine=1.00$
1 x Potato bunch=2.50$
1 x Butter Stick=.50$
Assorted seasonings, flours, herbs, etc...=2.50$
All of this adds up to less than 35 dollars. That is pretty cheap for a nice amount of confit, duck fat for cooking, duck stock, a cassoulet (I ate this for like 3 days), a nice duck breast dinner, rillettes, and a bunch of ravioli. You could easily feed yourself and another for a week with the one duck and some extras.
Anyways, on to the rillettes. Rillettes are another variation of the meat spread group, not unlike what I made in my Potted Meat post.First you want to scoop out as much of the gelatinous, yellow, duck flavored goo that coagulates at the bottom of your confit jar. This is flavorful stuff and will add to the succulent nature of the final product.
I had one nice confit leg/thigh left over. This produced a little less than a cup of duck meat.
The jelly, duck meat and about a tablespoon of fat from my confit jar went into my mini-food processor gadget that I rarely if ever use. It suited this purpose well though, you want to lightly pulse the duck meat. You do not want to puree it, you are going for more of a fine shred. Throw this in your fridge for a few hours to set and you are left with a delicious, fatty, duck spread to go on your toasted baguette.
Duck confit is a fairly common ravioli filler. I decided to see how the rillettes would work in another ravioli-esque stuffed Italian pasta called Agnolotti. Agnolotti are a rich northern Italian dish made with a dough somewhat richer in egg yolks than most. I used around 2 cups of flour, 1 whole egg, plus 4 additional egg yolks. I put this through my pasta maker until fairly thin. I used about a marble sized portion of rillettes for each piece of pasta.
I cut the agnolotti into about 1 inch squares.
These went into some boiling stock (the last of the duck stock I originally made) until they floated to the top. I put the agnolotti in a bowl and slathered with some sage infused butter, topped with some parmesan, parsley, and to gild the lily I garnished with a couple fresh lardons.
I love the way sliced salt pork looks, its almost like peppermint candy or something. The final dish came out looking pretty good.
Verdict: It goes without saying that the rillettes were delicious. You can't really go wrong with duck fat and confit. The agnolotti were pretty good, but the rillettes filling got kind of liquidy after being boiled. If I made this again I might throw some sauteed mushrooms, maybe with some bread crumbs, to hold everything together.
All in all, I enjoyed the dishes that I managed to extract from the one lonely duck. The highlight was definitely the cassoulet, I have been getting the itch to make this again even now. But you can't have too much of a good thing, I think I will wait a couple weeks before I wrangle up another duck.