79 Comments

  1. Amazing, amazing post. Love the first couple of shots, and the last one of (presumably) you is adorable! I love rillettes and love that you added preserved lemon, it certainly would cut the richness which is a good thing when you’re eating rillettes! We have a french fella who sells prepared foods at the Pacific Palisades farmers market only on Sundays and before we went on vacation I bought a slab of rillette . . . it was soooo delicious, but also very expensive, and my husband for some reason thought I didn’t like it . . . and also had no idea how much it cost, and he ate the whole thing in one sitting! Alas, I got another slab last week and he accompanied me for the purchase, which nearly gave him a heart attack, so that he is only taking meager spoonfuls and so we have a bit left. Can’t wait to try this recipe as I have never made it myself!

    • Thank you so much, Sue. It is me. Your comments are so sweet. That is hilarious about the Frenchman and your husband eating it all in one sitting! So funny! I can see my husband doing the same thing. Ken and Jody’s blog is really amazing. I’ve been cooking a lot off of their blog. I’ve actually never bought a rillette not in a restaurant. I should sell these.Then I can retire and blog and photograph all day 🙂

      • Yeah, let me know how that goes. I’m 3 months into not working at a law office and can’t recommend it highly enough. However, check with me at the end of the year when we look at all our numbers. Sooner or later reality is going to set in. 🙂

  2. So confused, I thought I commented a minute ago, oh well . . . . stunning photos I am so enamored. I also love the last photo of (presumably) you! Thank you also for the link to Jody Adams’ blog, she is a cook whom I have long admired and I am a bit surprised I have not run across her blog until now. The only problem is, I am coveting their theme. Anyhow, I love that you have included preserved lemon to cut the richness of this dish and once again, the photos are beautiful. !!

  3. I love your fantasy about rillettes! It’s a lot like my fantasy, which is a lot like the south of Switzerland, haha. After visiting there this summer and eating the most delicious rillettes from little jars at a picnic table in a small town with a crusty baguette and fresh local cheese and a chilled bottle of wine….oh you lost me. Anyway, I’m normally a vegetarian, but rillettes are a different story. I was afraid of making them, but next time I get my hands on same farm-raised chicken… 🙂

    • That’s so cool Randle. I’m glad you got to go there! I love your fantasy too. I also love that you make an exception from vegetarianism for this wonderful little dream. xo 🙂

  4. You ate it with a spoon! Ha ha – you make me think that you are living in the wrong country.
    I have been lucky enough to stay in a village in the rillette producing region of Sarthe, France. You would absolutely love it – there were duck rillettes most days as a starter for dinner, followed by magret de canard. All the old men (most of whom are over 80) make their own calvados and swear it keeps them fit and healthy!
    Excellent post 😉

    • Wow. Thanks, MD. I’m so jealous! Oh man, I’d love this region. A place where people eat duck breast and rillettes with their homemade liquor? Yes. Take me there. I KNOW I’m living in the wrong country. I think at heart I’m a Spaniard, but in love with French culinary history. There is something about letting it remain a fantasy too.

      • You’d love it – people do lots of home preserving. I visited friends of friends who had a huge basement with second kitchen and canning equipment. I was literally blown away. I got the old men to show me how they make the calvados – it’s made from cider with a pressure cooker. They don’t just do apple either, they have large selections of all kinds of fruits (eaux de vie). I was very lucky to have been given a litre of the calvados to bring home. The apple taste and smell is far superior to any industrial (shop bought) calvados. We drank wine with dinner and sipped the hard stuff as a digestive.
        I think I’m a Spaniard at heart too (though I must have Spanish parents from another life), but I’m very fond of rural France too 😉

  5. That day on the beach doesn’t sound too bad, anyway. At least you had this dish with you! I’ve never heard of rilletes before, but it looks and sounds delicious. Beautiful pictures!

    • Thanks, Chaya. You will love these. The day on the beach was damn near perfect. It was accidentally perfect because it started to rain, we had no place to stay and it all kind of just worked out…a tiny bit of planning and the rest took care of itself.

  6. I’ve eaten quite a lot of rillette this summer in France, oh my I love it! Yours looks excellent. And yay you’ve got to use your preserved lemons on it. Beautiful photos, is that you in the last one?

    • Thanks, Sofia! It is me in Quebec. So funny. Mimi’s rant, kind of made me want to throw up a photo, but I’m camera shy. You must be eating so well in France. I hear you’re going to the west coast to see Sue! So cool. Enjoy all of your travels. I’ve really enjoyed following them 🙂

      • Haha I’m camera shy too, I so prefer to be behind the camera. Now we have a small idea of what you look like 🙂 Now I’m at my parents in the south of Spain, eating Andalucian seafood and Indonesian food! Yes I am, I have to go to work so in my bit of spare time we’ll meet up! Are you back then?

        • OMG that sounds lovely! You’re in my favorite place in the world. I’m back from vacay. It’s not the best pic of me, but I like that I was caught in a moment off guard.

          • Have you been? I’m in Cadiz at the moment. I’m working from home but in a minute I’ll disconnect and go to the beach 🙂 I think I like off guard photos best too 🙂

  7. I love cooking with preserved lemons and your recipe looks amazing. I have never dined on rillettes but the dish looks quite interesting. Glad you had a great day at the beach,despite the weather.

    • Thanks, Jovina. I think the weather was what made it so special because it cleared the beach in the middle of summer. 🙂 This was the first time I used the preserved lemons and I just loved them. What a unique and wonderful flavor!

  8. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen chicken rillettes in France. And your addition of chorizo and preserved lemon is really quite intriguing. My butcher down the street makes the best pork rillettes on Earth (I am serious, I hated rillettes before discovering his, and can’t eat any other kind now that I’ve tasted his…) Pierre and I eat a whole slab in one go whenever we get it – but unlike Sue, ours costs practically nothing. [Just noticed I wrote a very similar comment on Jody and Ken’s post]. Anyway, this recipe sounds quite delicious, there are so many layers of flavor there! I’ve been thinking of you, I hope you are doing well!

    • Thanks so much, Darya. I’m doing much better. My back is almost back to normal! The rillettes were wonderful and your butcher’s sound absolutely amazing! There really is so much flavor there. I’ll have to come visit and try the ones you guys eat. Last night I tried my hand at ratatouille. It was beautiful, and I told Alex what you told me about all of your wonderful dumplings that you just have no time to photograph. That was me last night. I served it over “forbidden” rice, which is a deep purple. It’s a small form of torture not to be able to share such wonderful food! I’ll recreate it and post it. I’ve been thinking of you too. Deciding if I want to do vegetarian, French, Middle Eastern, must have dill….I want it to be perfect for you.

      • Oh ratatouille is so wonderful, isn’t it? I’d love to see your version of it. As to your suggestions, I love them all and it all sounds perfect to me. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself 🙂

        • It was so wonderful, but alex was mad because there was no meat. I made it with a salad that had some smoked salmon in it. He said, it’s like I’m the king and you built a and a moat and gave me the best horse, but there’s no castle. I told him that was a ridiculous metaphor, but that next time I’ll make it with lamb merguez. LOL!

  9. Great post Amanda,
    Though, as I started to read, I had a vision of two of you sitting alone on the beach, in the rain, getting drunk, having left the food at home. A good thing I read on. Lovely post and lovely method. Ken and Jodie really do some very special stuff too, don’t they?
    Best,
    Conor

  10. Oh my goodness Amanda, you really did it! 🙂 I remember Ken and Jody’s post and was awestruck with not only the idea of making rillettes but also what a beautifully romantic jar of goodness. I really enjoyed your narrative of your fantasy (romantic) and the reality of how you served it (even more romantic!). Beautiful photo’s. And so fun to see you in Quebec. I still need to make your preserved lemons…

    • Thank you, Seana. I became obsessed after their part and seeing their pics of France. The idea of certain French foods carry so much romance for me. You will love the flavor of the lemons. I just added them again to another chicken dish and they really transport you. I love your comments.

      • I’ll let you know when I make them. Hopefully this weekend. I am really looking forward to using them and changing up the flavors coming out of my kitchen. It is so easy to get stuck on certain spices and herbs and a makeover is always so refreshing. Thank you for your constant inspiration!

        • Oh I totally know about getting stuck. I still make the same salmon almost every Monday. I want to branch into pies and tarts like you have. We must switch!

          • Let do switch! I am in a little “slump” right now. I think it is due to the change in the seasons. I haven’t posted anything in over a week and I don’t even have anything worthy to post! 🙂 I love that you have salmon every Monday.

  11. I have been wanting to make chicken rillettes for ages, and couldn’t find a good recipe. So thanks for posting this. I love the addition of chorizo an the preserved lemons. And your photos.

  12. how lovely 🙂 Have been curious about rillettes, but outside of seeing them on charcuterie plates, I haven’t given them much thought. Can see how they’d be divine. Hurrah hurrah for whipping them up! And your post is also lovely because of what you’ve said. Your pique-nique sounds perfect. Your life is uniquely yours and I love how you celebrate that 😀

    • What a thoughtful comment, Liz. You’re always very thoughtful and supportive. I really appreciate that. Thank you. Honestly, rillettes are new to me too as my focus has always been local, Spanish or middle eastern. What a wonderful journey it had been to learn about so much more and to meet awesome people like you to share the journey with. 🙂

  13. It’s a little disappointing when our fantasy scenarios don’t quite pan out how we expected even though they may be totally achievable (obviously I’m not talking being swept off my feet by Orlando Bloom and marrying him on a tropical island. That is too much fantasy 😉 ). But it sounds to me that the reality here turned out to be just as lovely – the two of you on a beach in the drizzle, v. romantic!
    And these rillettes! They sound beautiful and the photos really are! I’ve never had rillettes but come across them often enough in France and have never really had any desire to try them, but the way you’ve presented them makes me want to drop everything and get to work replicating yours! Stunning.

    • Stich a thoughtful comment. I actually warn about the Orlando Bloom fantasies because those are the ones that if they come true could actually disrupt your life. Some dreams should remain dreams. Rillettes with Orlando Bloom might derail my relationship but it did cross my mind. I focus on the food fantasy 😉

  14. I’ve been meaning to make that (with rabbit probably – and I wish I’d done it with the rather mushy bunny I recently bought at Whole Foods which was hardly worth all the protests they’re getting over selling it) ever since Ken and Jody’s post. Such beautiful photos, Amanda. And thank goodness for reality being even better than one’s dreams. How rare, and how wonderful!

    • Thanks for your sweet comment. Wow you got a rabbit fob whole foods. I think the markets might have them. I was trebled to do it too. Next time I’ll do duck. Dreams can be so big sometimes that it does take effort to appreciate the now, but when they line up it is magical.

  15. Haha! Amanda, you’re too generous. It was fun chatting with you–you more than did justice to our recipe and your photos are enchanting. Funny, the last night we were in France we found ourselves in a Paris café eating rabbit rillettes. They really are delicious. After reading the NYT article this week about the recent study regarding low-carb vs. low-fat (spoiler alert: the low-carb team wins) the first thought that came to my mind was, rillettes! We’ve clearly got to get up to Quebec. We love Montreal, which is also a great food city, but I really want to get to Quebec City. By the way, is that you in the last photo? For someone obsessed with baking and making things like rillettes you’re holding up rather well. 🙂 Ken

    • It was a great recipe. Thanks for the compliment. I read that article and it was hardly news to me. It is me! I work out a lot and play tons of tennis and bike. I also share a lot of my wares with coworkers 😉 I really do love your recipes and was so grateful for the help on this one.

    • I actually learned of the gateau basque when I took a basque cooking class at the I.c.e. on 23rd street earlier this year. We made all sorts of fish stews, txiperones, pil pil and the gateau for dessert.

  16. Ooh, this is a fabulous recipe! Got to try this pretty soon – I have never had chicken rillettes before and am intrigued how they taste with the preserved lemons. I can’t stop eating them… Love your pictures, Nicole.

  17. LOVE THIS WONDERFUL post Amanda – I was with you in that fantasy! Absolutely! What restaurant and where in Quebec? I might have to go and check it out. Printing this post out to try EVERYTHING. I meant to try those pickled radishes (and so much more) sooner. But between packing and moving and unpacking and finishing my book my life was too crazy for thoughtful time in the kitchen. However the manuscript has been submitted. I’ve moved. 75% unpacked. 25% mayhem. Time to get back in the kitchen in a meaningful way again.

    • Wow! Such incredible accomplishments! You should be so proud! Tell me more about this manuscript! Is it fiction? I vaguely recall you taking about it on your site but not in depth. I’m intrigued. The restaurat was le lapin sauté in Quebec City. The only thing that comes close to it here is a restaurant called Hearth here in nyc. Is love to try to make charcuterie and delve curve into breads. Darya from tortore is doing some cool picking and sent me in the right direction. It is hard to find time to do anything when you’re writing or playing music. I do hope that one day I get back into fiction. I just read the best John cheever story called The Enormous Radio. It was written in 1944 and is still so relevant and insightful. Anyway, tell me about your book. I look forward to your recipes and words.

  18. Fig & Quince

    Oh, I love the photos and the story. Very pleased to see that you had your day at the beach. You guys and the seagulls! 🙂 Rilettes is new to me and I do like the sound of it and find your addition of preserved lemons both inspiring and up my alley. And can’t leave w/out saying that absolutely enjoyed that little peak you gave us of yourself in the last shot. Moody and perfect and very: Amanda! 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Azita. I always love hearing from you. You’re always thoughtful and contemplative. I do think you’d like these a lot. They make a great appetizer and stir up fantasies 🙂

  19. I’ve seen duck rillettes on the menu in one restaurant, but never tried it! I’m so glad your shared the recipe! How many jars did you make from 3 pounds of chicken? May be I will reduce it..

    • It made like 3 small jars. You should definitely order it or make it. This is something special. One of my favorite things I’ve made. I don’t think it’s too much, but you could do 2 lbs. It’s worth making a lot at once. You can give some away. It also lasts.

  20. That’s lovely! You can find various types of rilletes from rabbit to wild boar here in France! We’re a cooking school in Paris and just began our own blog! I’d like to invite you to check us out 🙂 Bon appetit!

    • Omg. I’m so there. Thanks for your comment. What I wouldn’t do for those rillettes! It was one of my favorite recipes. That and the stuffed pumpkin. Wow. I’m so impressed. I just read Anne Willan’s book about starting a cooking school in France. What an undertaking, but how cool. I’ll follow your blog. Maybe I’ll enroll if I ever get to live my dream. If you ever need a guest post or someone to test a recipe I’m your gal!

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