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Jan 31, 2014 01:44 PM

Dinner w/ crisped duck confit--adding foie gras (pate? warm?) somewhere in menu too much?

My birthday? Check.

Moulard confit untouched in fat in fridge for three months? Check.

Bottle of expensive Hermitage bought? Check.

Desire for foie gras: high.

Willingness to spring for Monbazillac or Sauternes: check.

Willingness to screw up menu for gilding the lily (even for Wolfert?): None.

Any ideas?


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  1. What's the rest of the menu? How big a portion of the confit are you serving?

    1 Reply
    1. re: biondanonima

      One leg (thigh and drumstick) each.


    2. Duck confit and foie gras ravioli in a concentrated duck consommé is one of my favorite things to make as a starter for a very special occasion. Don't know if that fits as a starter for your birthday. You could skip the stock if you don't have the time to make it and the ravioli and just make a simple butter sauce. Last time I made a sauce for this it was butter, finely minced shallots, some port wine and a little veal stock with a little bit of diced foie gras to finish. Quite tasty!

      1 Reply
      1. re: KateBChi

        You know, by some miracle I had a clarified and reduced to jelly stock from carcasses of partridges and guinea hen (to which I added a duck and squab carcass and bubbled), which I added to a pate (see my show-off, and saved a little to try my first aspic on top of it). Point is, it was amazing, so I'm intrigued.

        But, interestingly, I absolutely hate duck soup. I tried twice in honor of the Marx Brothers; I don't even like Chinese roasted duck added to noodles at a restaurant.

        Partridges, squabs, quail, and guinea hens are sinfully cheap (relatively speaking) in Chinatown, so I could do it and find eminently tasty results with the meat.

        Decisions, decisions...


      2. How about making two fabulous birthday meals instead of one? Say, serve the confit with a sharp salad for lunch and then feature the foie at dinner. I just spread my birthday gluttony over four days!

        1. Where I live, a thick slice of foie gras followed by a duck leg confit and a mess of fried potatoes is a pretty ordinary weekday dinner. Or lunch.

          6 Replies
          1. re: DeppityDawg

            Yea, rarely a week goes by when I don't have that hot mess of duck confit and fried potatoes plus a slab of sautéed foie gras for lunch. It gets so same old, same old that I make the duck confit every other Saturday and D'Artagnon is literally on my speed dial. My friends sometimes have it for lunch and dinner but I like to add the odd fonduta with fresh white truffles just to stave off monotony.

            1. re: KateBChi

              What I meant was, putting aside the expense and effort of such a menu, the actual combination of these foods in one meal is not particularly excessive.

              I understand that foie gras and confit are luxury items in most places, but it seems to me that the OP was asking about the appropriateness of the food pairing, and not especially concerned about the cost.

              1. re: DeppityDawg

                My mistake. I agree that it is a classic combination and if health could stand it I'd eat it as often as possible.

              2. re: KateBChi

                Between living in Chicago and the South of France, I'd choose the latter.

                1. re: LorenzoGA

                  Moi aussi! I'd reside at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco and Alain DuCasse would be my BFF and personal chef for at least one month of the year. I'd spend at least two months in the French Alps skiing and après skiing. I'd go to Brittany and wallow in shellfish. I'd flit between places in Provence and...and... But I am stuck in the wasteland, you know, the culinary hell that is Chicago where we only drink bilge water and dream of chicken fried steak

                  1. re: KateBChi

                    Sarcasm aside, this thread does go to show that what's ordinary food in one culture is exotic in another. Maybe DeppityDawg down there in France would wonder if eating, I dunno, both a Chicago dog AND an Italian beef in one meal would be guilding the lily.

            2. Haven't thought of rest of menu, probably just a tart of some kind. I just bought Wolfert revised, and was gifted Memories of Gascony, by Pierre Koffman, which by title is the kind of book I avoid, but is very hard-core and recipe rich (trans. from French, apparently he's a star there).

              Which is where I heard of Monbazillac. And Madiran, dont'cha know, but my guy had better wine available, and I won't die if I don't do the whole cutesy culture-match thing and wear berets and what not.

              But of course I had the confit mouldering away anyway.

              So this is what I'm thinking. An update of a prep I did before: a mushroom soup with croutons of foie gras. It wasn't a velouté, per se, but following Peterson (either in Soups or Glorious French) based on a mess of puréed smothered onions, and maybe a sprinkling of flour, but I can't remember. Spring (or was it Fall) was in the air, and fresh morels were to be had, so those were them, and as Peterson had a throwaway line for those in the mood to stuff a few morels with the fatty organ and scatter them about with a careless air.

              I went with shavings, curled leaves in intent, of cold-ish foie gras placed on the soup surface. Verdict: not as great as it should have been. Taste was killer, but leaves melted too fast, or, if thicker, sank like a stone into the deep muddy. I tried cutting to torchon colder, but all I got was flakes and expensive shards.

              So I'm thinking maybe some cutouts of some bread or other with a thinnish slice of foie gras. The soup to be graced with a thread of walnut oil, which I've never tasted before and am having trouble taste-visualizing (as it were), but sounds like it would be good and goes with that whole SW thing, and I think one or the other of those two authors mentioned it.

              I'll go for chanterelles this time. Now, about wine....?

              Awaiting your advice and approval.


              2 Replies
              1. re: rbraham

                I had a lentil soup with foie gras "croutons" at a little place in Paris once - it was incredible. Very smooth soup topped with small cubes of seared foie gras - when you put one in your mouth, it created a little explosion of fatty foie goodness that accented the soup perfectly. Really good. I love lentils with duck, too - you might find that works better than mushroom would (although that sounds good as well).

                If you wanted a lighter approach, there is a restaurant in my neighborhood that makes an incredible foie dish - they freeze it and grate it over mandarin orange segments, with "bacon brittle" accents. It sounds weird, but the frozen grated foie has this fluffy, light texture that just melts on your tongue. Like snow, only it melts into this perfect richness. Mounded over oranges, it's really fabulous.

                1. re: rbraham

                  Mushroom-onion velouté with a foie gras toast on the side sounds _really_ good to me. And walnut oil would work wonderfully here. It strikes me as more autumnal than February, but in cold weather soup is always welcome! Just keep in mind that this will probably be more filling than a simple foie gras course, so people might risk running out of steam before the dessert. Especially if you are also planning to have some cheese…