HCC 003| How To Make Duck Pâté

This video will show you how to take the innards of a duck and turn it into a delicious pâté, complete with serving recommendations. A great giblet pate such as this should be slice-able yet spreadable, with a rosy pink color and a complex, well rounded flavor.

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There are 18 Comments

Porkbutter's picture

Is it a pure form of the Sodium Nitrite that you call for in this recipe, or is it just the cure #1 or "pink salt" that is available from most sausage making suppliers? 

jacob burton's picture

I use pure sodium nitrite, that way I can control the amount of nitrite in my salt cure mixture. You can buy pure nitrite from chefrubber.com.

itsmikehere's picture


Just joined. Looks like a great site. I don't have any sodium nitrite and had a look on the net - quote from wikipedia "...it can be toxic in high amounts for animals and humans. Sodium nitrite's LD50 in rats is 180 mg/kg and its human LDLo is 71 mg/kg, meaning a 65 kg person would likely have to consume at least 4.615 g to result in death." with 4g of sodium nitrite in the recipe, i wanted to check for alternatives, i know one person wont eat all the pate at once, but it seams that it could still be rather toxic. Thoughts?

jacob burton's picture

Welcome to Stella Culinary!

The recipe given here results in a lot of pate, so like you said, there is no way a single person could eat enough for it to become deadly or even toxic.

Too much of anything at one time can kill us, even water: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_intoxication. As crazy as this sounds, this actually happened when a radio show in Sacramento, CA had a water drinking contest and one of the contestants died as a result.

Nitrites occur naturally in lots of food, including celery. Michael Ruhlman has a great article about nitrites in food, which address some of the health concerns. I would definitely recommend reading it: http://ruhlman.com/2011/05/the-no-nitrites-added-hoax/

If you're comfortable with occasionallyy eating bacon or ham (both of which contain nitrites), then eating this pate is no different.

With that said, if you're completely adverse to consuming nitrites, you can just leave them out of this recipe. The pate will not have a rosy color (it will oxidize to grey quickly), and some of the "hammy" cured flavor will be lost.

Welcome to the site, and let me know if you have any more questions.

THigson's picture

Hi Jacob. Though I do not like the sense of being wasteful, I will admit that I am guilty of chunking the innards when fabricating a chicken. I like what you have demonstrated here and am definitely going to give it a go assuming this can be done with the innards of chicken as well. ???

Thanks Jacob!


Gdaiva's picture

I just found and joined your site, looks fantastic!
Love your videos!

Im surprised how this plastic wrap lining doesnt melt in the oven?

jacob burton's picture

Hi Gdaiva,

Welcome to Stella Culinary, I'm glad you found us.

The plastic wrap doesn't melt because of the steam from the water bath. The steam helps to regulate the temperature, so the plastic wrap isn't effected.

Glad you enjoyed the recipe.

bucket_mouth's picture

I use plastic wrap to cook lasagne, ribs, etc. It withstands the heat better than you think. Just use the thicker commercial stuff, not the cheap saran wrap.

Gadzik's picture

Hi! What is the weight of the innards in this recipe? 
If I decide not to use fois gras, should I add more fat instead?
Have You tried to add some duck meat scraps and would it improve the taste or change the texture? It would be the best if I can use the scraps I get from the boiled out duck bones after the stock preparation.

jacob burton's picture

Hey Gadzik,

The total weight is 2100g for the duck innards.

If you don't want to use foie gras, you can leave it out, and add in half as much butter. Duck scraps will enhance the flavor of the pate and actually give it a better texture, but you need to add the scraps raw. If they're already coagulated, they'll give your pate a grainy texture.

Good luck, and let me know if you have any more questions.

QP Sport's picture

Re; Sodium Nitrite

Hello Chef,

Question regarding the curing salt.  Why is it added? I thought it was used as a "preservative" not as a flavour enhancer.  If I am correct, how long can you keep it with out Sodium Nitrite? How long with?  If curing salt added, Is it better to let cure for or is the flavour just as good right from day one? I see in the video it was eaten fresh. Thanks in advance!

jacob burton's picture

Hey QP. The sodium nitrite acts as both a flavor enhancer, preservative, and a color enhancer. Nitrite prevents oxidation, which will help keep the cross section of the pate red. Without it, the pate will turn gray rather quickly.

QP Sport's picture

Shelf / fridge life?

Thanks Chef.  With the sodium nitrite, how long can you keep this?  And any tips on storing?

jacob burton's picture

At least a month, sometimes longer. Drape plastic wrap over the terrine once it's un-molded and gently smooth onto the sides. This will keep oxygen from reaching the pate, allowing it to last longer.

Leif O's picture

Hello Chef,

This looks like a great pate and I will certainly make it.  Where can I download the recipe from, I cannot find it on your site?