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Confit, Rillettes, Etc.

salmon rillettes recipe

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

This is something of a grab bag category, where you will find various sausage-like or cured things that are not really dry aged, nor fermented like salami.

Confit is essentially slow poaching in oil or fat, rillettes are a rough pate — when I make pates they will be in this category, too. I also included coppa di testa, or head cheese, because it is considered part of the overall charcuterie craft. Unlike confit or rillettes, however, coppa di testa does not keep for a long time. Eat it within a week or so.

Photo by Hank Shaw

Duck or Goose Confit

Start here. Duck confit is a basic skill anyone even remotely interested in cooking ducks or geese should know. It will make even the oldest, gnarliest Canada goose leg tender and wonderful — and just think what it can do for a domestic duck or goose.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Pheasant Confit

A slightly different cure for making confit of pheasant or other upland game birds. Same basic process as with duck, only a different cure.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Corned Gizzards and Cabbage

My take on the St. Patrick’s Day classic. While the duck or goose gizzards are cured, this is more of a confit than a traditional “corn.” If you think you don’t like gizzards, try this recipe. I guarantee you will change your mind.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Corned Gizzard Confit

Duck, goose, turkey or chicken gizzards slowly cooked in duck fat, then seared with wild mushrooms.

Wild Duck or Goose Rilletes

Slow-cooked duck or goose legs and wings, pulled from the bone and pounded with more duck fat, brandy and herbs. An especially awesome used for skinned goose legs from birds like Canadas or snow geese.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Salmon Rillettes

The key here is the combination of both smoked and freshly poached salmon or trout. A great, easy canape for a party… or for watching the game.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Smoked Bluefish Pate

Smoked bluefish mashed into a rough pate or rillette, this is a winner on crackers. One of my go-to appetizers when I can get my hands on bluefish. Mackerel, wahoo, skipjack tuna or jacks work well here, too.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

English Duck Pie

Not exactly a confit or a rillette, but this sturdy meat pie will last 10 days in the fridge. It’s so solid you can ┬ábring it to the duck blind.
Photo by Hank Shaw

Fromage de Tete

A French version of head cheese, made from a wild pig’s head. This is a pretty easy version to make, and can also be done with the heads of deer, goats and lamb.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Coppa di Testa

This is the Italian version of head cheese, stuffed in a casing. I make this with wild boar, but you could also make it with any animal; a young deer is a good alternative.

More Cured Meat Recipes

One response to “Confit, Rillettes, Etc.”

  1. greg kvale

    I just completed curing and vacuum packing my confit. Not cooked yet. I have more than I can use and would like to freeze some. Is it advisable and if so at what piont in the process can it be frozen?

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