Markets in Dordogne
Duck with orange sauce
Duck Breast with Cepes and chestnuts
I have decided to start with my favourite ingredient:
Magret de Canard (Duck Breast)
Should you find yourself at a farmers market – ie (Sarlat-de-Caneda) purchase a couple of pieces of delicious large Magret de Canard, Cepes, walnuts, plump garlic, oranges, parsley, origanum and some gorgeous fresh vegetables in season.
BREAST OF DUCK
An experiment in flavour…
Prepare a good stock base – I use the bones of chicken or Duck.
Gently fry 3 onions, 1 garlic head, celery, carrots and 1 large tablespoon of provencal herbs until they are slightly soft. Place your bones into a large pot, add your onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Cover with water and leave to boil.
OLD FASHIONED L’ORANGE SAUCE (sufficient for 4 breasts)
– Reduce 1 cup of your stock with 1 cup of very fresh orange juice. Plus grate/shave the skin from 2 oranges.
– Plus squeeze the juice from your two oranges (I throw in the pulp – seems to thicken the sauce nicely).
– Plus juice of ½ lemon.
– Add herbs to taste – I used French Tarragon and Basil.
– Once your sauce is almost ready, prepare your duck.
– Score the skins of your Duck Breasts and season.
– Place into a very hot pan skin side down and cook (NO ADDED FAT duckies have lots of fat!).
– Depending on how well done you like your meat, only turn your breasts once the skin side looks golden brown – remember one is supposed to eat duck breast fairly rare – not many people like it this way – so before your skin burns turn it over and cook skin side down for a few minutes – ONLY!
– Place in the oven for 5 minutes at 180 deg to finish off
– Leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving
– Strain your orange sauce through a sieve and thicken (by creating a ball of butter and flour and blending it in the palm of your hand – this is called a roux) add your roux to your sauce and stir furiously.
– SERVE with vegetables of your choice and some delicious mash potato (Suggestion – One could add finely chopped and cooked leeks to the mixture)
DUCK WITH WILD MUSHROOMS AND CHESTNUTS
For this recipe you will need wild mushrooms for the earthy flavour. Brown mushrooms mixed with dried cepes will also be flavourful.
– If you are using dried mushrooms – soak your mushrooms.
– After ½ hour drain your mushrooms and add the juice from the mushrooms.
– Add 1 cup of your stock (Above) add a few of your favourite herbs and reduce.
– Finely chop 1 small onion and 1 garlic clove 1 large TBS butter – cook until soft.
– Add your wild mushrooms and (normal mushrooms mixed with brown mushrooms), season with black pepper and a little salt.
– Finely chop your chestnuts and toast in a pan (Use a dry pan – to toast them)
– Add chestnuts to mushrooms strain your reduction.
– Thicken if necessary – As above.
– SERVE with your vegetables of choice and mash / or chips fried in Duck fat – Delicious!