If there are is a slight intermission in new articles on the site for a few days, then blame the latest addition to the FrenchDuck bookshelf – Cooking and Travelling in South-West France. This is a sumptuous celebration of the wine, food and countryside of South West France – but not a “coffee table” display book – it is also full of useful recipes. information and guidance on how to get the best from this part of deepest France.
Amongst the recipes is a very traditional “Magret de Canard” – breast of fattened duck. This happens to be one of our favourite dishes, and as Stephanie Alexander points out, this is partly due to the contradiction of a rich layer of fat over some wonderfully flavourful and lean breast meat. She is right in saying that using British duckling, no matter how good the quality, really does not match the depth of flavour in the French fattened duck. (i.e. canard – duck, canette = duckling).The other bonus from properly preparing a magret, is the rendered duck fat which results – ideal for great roast potatoes – and low in saturated fats. However, back to the recipe – this includes all the garnish that makes the dish authentic – garlic, shallots, onions, carrots, potatoes – rather than the lazy option of salad and saute potatoes.
All that is needed to finish off the meal would be a bottle of robust red wine, such as Cahors, Madiran, Buzet etc.
Great photos, chapters on markets. foie gras and confit, prunes and plums, walnuts and chestnuts…. so a great read either for a bit of daydreaming or reminiscence, for recipes, or for planning your next visit to the region. By far the best book on the region I have yet to come across.

somewhere to stay, a ferry, a train or car hire?

The one-stop shop for train travel


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