This is a quick drive-by post just to share with everyone what was an amazing and memorable gastronomic and family experience. As my gift to my family for Christmas 2009 I took advantage of my current home base of Paris to pool some resources and prepare a traditional and homemade four-course French dinner. Please excuse my French but the entire menu is written in the native tongue. VIVE LA FRANCE! I don’t mean to gloat but quoting my mom, “This is the best duck I have ever had in my life”. It was succulently tender and falling off the bone and I must say it was AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS! And finally a special recognition and thanks goes out to la Petite Marie for inspiring the Tarte Tatin. It was her mom’s recipe and was also a big hit!
PS: I planned to take the easy way out by purchasing canned duck confit at a local mom and pop shop in Paris. But it wasn’t to be. It took United Airlines 5 days to locate my luggage, which somehow ended up in Winnepeg, Canada. Everything arrived in tact, expect for the duck confit, which the U.S. Customs confiscated. What was at first a major bummer turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I hunted down canned duck confit all over Columbus for 3 days, but to no avail. So I was forced to make it myself. THANK YOU U.S. CUSTOMS! The meal would have not been the same without you!
Duck confit prep condensed …
I seasoned the duck legs/thighs with salt and pepper, 3 crushed garlic cloves, green onions, and thyme. Normally you would let the duck rest in the seasoning for 2 days but I was pressed for time. So I submersed the duck immediately and completely in duck fat and slow baked it at 225 degrees F for 3 hours. Then I let it cool and sit for one day. The following day I removed the duck from the fat and combined it with fava beans cooked in goose fat, and let it all slow-bake for 2 hours at 200 degrees F. Then I broiled the preparation at 500 degrees F in order to brown and crisp the duck skin.
My Wine Pairing and Ratings Summarized …
Veuve Clicquot (17/20)
Pairing Notes: Perfect balance between the wine’s acidity, subtle sweetness, and mousse like bubbles and the velvety smooth and fatty foie gras
Chateau Aydie (15/20)
Pairing Notes: Big, tannic, balanced, and complex red held up great against the succulent, fat-forward duck
Becker Vineyards (12/20)
Pairing Notes: A virtually impossible pairing, as the cheese assortment was so diverse, nonetheless the jammy fruitiness of the wine balanced out the salty cheeses, although a little more acidity in the wine may have helped
Chateau Coutet (16/20)
Pairing Notes: Perfection! Versus the champagne/foie gras marriage of opposites attract, this was a perfect example of matching up likenesses; the acidity and the intense sweetness found in both the wine and the tarte came together as one
Disclaimer: Yes I know I doctored the photo, inserting my dad. He was taking the photo at the time and of course was included in many other pics throughout the dinner.