Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Canard, Canard! How I Love Thee!

If there is one food I love, no... make that one food I adore, it's duck. I could eat duck for breakfast, lunch and dinner and I would never got bored. And yes, I know duck isn't exactly the healthiest thing in the world, but as far as I'm concerned, I'll die happy if it's from indulging in too much duck! Let's not forget about that French paradox though. Duck fat is healthier than butter or oil and so are the glasses of Bordeaux I wash it down with! 
Truth be told, I only indulge every once in a while, in France perhaps more frequently than I should. If I see confit de canard or magret on the menu, the choice is easy. In the Netherlands, good duck is not something we have readily available, so what does a duck lover do? She brings back tins of confit de canard from La Belle France, of course!
These tins of preserved duck are surprisingly good and can generously feed a family of four, perhaps even with leftovers. The great things is that you can easily get a great dinner on the table in little time and with almost no effort. 
Just add some potatoes (a classic combination would be pommes sarladaises) and a side of vegetables or salad (some bitter leaves dressed with walnut oil and a dash of vinegar would be perfect). Then open a bottle of manly, red wine (my choice would be a Saint-Émilion or a Cahors) and dinner is on-the-table!
So how do you prepare these tasty, fatty little duck legs? First you'll need to immerse the can in a bath of hot water for about fifteen minutes. That way the fat softens and you can remove the legs in one piece. Wipe some of the fat off of the legs and pop them in a 200C oven for 20 minutes. After that, increase the heat to 220C and give them another 10 minutes. For a really crispy skin, you'll want to pop them under the grill for a final five minutes.
Should you have leftovers, they're great in a salad, and...here's the neatest part- save the duck fat! It's the best thing in the world to fry potatoes in!
Bon Appétit!

2 comments:

At Anna's kitchen table said...

That was really interesting Paola.
I must admit tinned duck doesn't sound too appealing, but the end product looks amazing!

Paola said...

I was a little skeptical myself...tinned? But, oh Anna, it is SO good! We just had a lovely salad for dinner with the leftovers. :) Try it if you see it! :)