If you spend enough time with culinary types, eventually you’re going to hear some douchebag call a duck breast a magret.
Magret is a term from Gascony, a Basque region of southwestern France. This is the spiritual home of modern foie gras: the liver of ducks and geese that have been forcibly fattened by a process called gavage. The many products and byproducts of these fattened birds form the pillars of the remarkable cuisine of Gascony. For instance, the rendered subcutaneous fat is the main cooking fat in the region, and is used to make confit.
Traditionally, magret refers to the lean portion of a bird that has been fattened for foie and confit, namely … Continue reading.
This week I made a duck liver pâté and served it with sour cherries. Both the livers and the cherries came from Greens, Eggs, and Ham.
The recipe was adapted from that for pâté grand mère in Michael Ruhlman’s Charcuterie. Duck livers can generally stand in for chicken livers.
1: Season the pork and liver (separately), with salt, pepper, bay, and thyme. Leave the mixtures overnight in the fridge.
2: The next day, chill the meat grinder and mixer parts. Ice water is particularly effective. You can also preheat your oven to 300°F.
3: After removing the bay leaf and thyme, sear the livers quickly over high heat. This is done strictly to enhance flavour and colour. Remove the … Continue reading.
Ducks and geese are fatty little creatures. Historically even fattier than they are now. Especially in southwestern France, where they are usually fattened to make foie gras.
This is a goose from Greens, Eggs, and Ham. It weighs about eleven pounds. We’re going to render some of its fat. We’re also going to confit the breasts and legs, then turn them into rillettes.
First we cut the breasts and legs from our goose. For a description of this process, see Poultry Cutting.
Rendering the Fat
Even though the choice fat around the breasts and legs is going into our confit, there is still lots of fat to be rendered from the goose. Look for fatty trim … Continue reading.