Duck Pâté

This recipe for the classic European spread is surprisingly easy to prepare

© Holly Heyser

By Scott Leysath

A pâté is made from meats that are fully cooked and processed into a spread, loaf, or paste. Many people associate pâtés with duck or goose livers, both of which can be used to make excellent spreads. But a tasty pâté can also be prepared using duck or goose breast fillets or meat that has been stripped from the legs and thighs. The process is relatively simple and lends itself to personal touches like citrus zest, spicy peppers, and herbs. After giving the ingredients a short spin in a food processor, you have a spreadable paste that intensifies in flavor after a day or two in the refrigerator. For a delicious snack or appetizer, serve it with crackers or toast points.

DUCK PÂTÉ

I have been using this never-fail recipe for years. I borrowed it from my friend Tasia Malakasis, president of Fromagerie Belle Chevre in Elkmont, Alabama.

MAKES: 1.5 TO 2 CUPS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/3 cups skinless duck breast fillets, chopped into 1- to 2-inch chunks
  • 3 strips bacon, diced
  • 1/4 cup finely minced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup roasted pistachios
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries or Craisins
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

[STEP 1]
Lightly brown bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and duck breast and sauté until duck is just cooked. Allow to cool completely.

[STEP 2]
Place pistachios and cranberries or Craisins in a food processor and process until smooth. Add cooled duck mixture and pulse until smooth. Add goat cheese, parsley, and lemon juice and continue processing until mixture is creamy. Season with salt and pepper.