HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


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?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  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…

                2. Also, since this the right crowd, and it actually crossed my mind to serve it, and since I'm so proud I'm showing it off to anyone I can corner, and the Internet will record it forever, a duck/squab pate with squab inlay and dried apricots soaked in Port and Cognac and other stuff:

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: rbraham

                    would you consider cromesquis de foie gras? you can pop them in your mouth or they are amazing in a cream of celeriac soup.

                    foie gras and confit in one meal is not remotely outrageous to me and i live in new england!

                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                      Thanks to all fans and those playing along at home.

                      Cromesquis, hmm. Idea of celeriac also good, I was thinking the mushroom soup would be too dark, heavy, followed by confit/lentils (but maybe not on a frisée something or other.

                      Then I thought instead starting with some bird/veal/ sweatbread trrrine with either bird or veal-pork farce. I do love me some sweetbreads, but I've never had them cold, but then I could switch up the game bird thing. (Now I'm really turning into the boy who took all his Chrisas toys to bed with him.

                      You know, obviously I could do up a foie gras pate straight up (which intimidates me), serve it with something or other.

                      Cromesquis sound scary, like deep-fried butter pats (which even Escoffier makes fun of). Chef Simon and others talk about it. Is the foi raw or mi-cuit?

                      Now thinking: 86 the mushroom. Celeriac soup w/ cromesquis, or begin with pate and cromesquis same plate, straight to confit.

                      If I do a pate I might go out and buy a breakdown ridge mold and try my first en croute.


                      1. re: rbraham

                        the cromesquis are indeed decadent, but you only need a few per person. the contrast of the crunchy exterior and the lush liquid interior is swoony good.

                        you can do warm sweetbreads over a cold frisee salad with hazelnuts and a mustard vinaigrette... mmmm... one of my favorite ways (also includes a poached egg and lardons when it's lunch). your lentils will work here too.

                  2. I love foie gras in so many ways but my favorite remains a simple seared treatment with some kind of sweet, acidic counterpoint.

                    It's sounding like your meal will be fantastic whatever you choose to do with it, Rob.

                    1. Well fuck it. I bought a 1.3 lb lobe of Hudson Valley, $84 from a Whole Food; needed A quality like a whole in the head, but had no time to order on-line from non-Hudson. Will make torchon--Kenjie's Food Labs
                      seems to cut through a lot of crap. Not sure what compote/marmelade, but, consider, amici:

                      I'm thinking going straight from cool torchon with a Sauterne to confit/Hermitage is too brutal. So, next course will be a game consommé, and I'll throw a few mushrooms on top. Question: are reconstituted morels tasty in such an exposed context?--maybe hydrated with booze; otherwise a chanterelle or two.
                      Then the crisped confit on a sharp salad. Then a fruit tart. Then, maybe, cheese.

                      What this means then, is kissing goodby dropping big bucks on a half-bot of Yquem, going for a more human Sauterne, but now I need more help: a wine for the consommé , sort of a transition.

                      Champagne for the tart?

                      I have some killer port for the cheese.

                      TMI: I have two best friends, the older of the two died this week, and the other and his wife are coming over. You get the picture.

                      And, FWIW: remember I said I was so proud of my duck pate (which has jack-all to do with OP) and I offered it to fly free on the wings of the Net? Well, I did a Google of foie gras duck confit and there it was!

                      So, to readers here and to hovering mods, if any, I acknowledge the following is pure threadshitting, if not Internet-shitting (not a new concept), for future Google searches of OP topic: an image that may pertinent:

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: rbraham

                        "Question: are reconstituted morels tasty in such an exposed context?"

                        i do not like eating reconstituted mushrooms -- the texture is not good, regardless of the soaking liquid.

                        sherry is a successful match to consomme and a good segue to the hermitage.

                        what you drink with the tart will depend upon your fruit choice, but if you want to have bubbles consider a demi-sec.

                        am sorry for your loss.

                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                          Coincidence of his death with my birthday with round numbers, celebrate our (everybody's) lives eat, drink, and be merry, mortality, etc.

                          Thanks for the heads up on the morels. Thing is, hydrated shiitakes are killer...

                          The story so far, with changes coming fast and furious. About the soup: 12 quails--$10 a six-pack!--one partridge, one guinea hen now in fridge. Looked for a squab, which I would have had to sneak by my wife, but they didn't have. ("No pigeons, no rabbit." Also no skate, ever ever, but that's another story.)

                          I find deboning kind of therapeutic. I guess I'll freeze the breasts, save some of the meat for the clarification/refueling.

                          About the wine: sherry. Duh. Next to Port, next to Madeira (which I can't afford) my favorite. Looked into Amontillado, found a Byass "Del Duque" I wanted to try.

                          But...watch closely here: working backwards, I'm too tired, and w/ all the wine, I think everyone will be, for the duck confit w/ de Puy lentils, now aging in the pantry. So, back to frisée, endive, whatever. In consultation with my extraordinary wine guy--who knows food inside out--Pierre, recently promoted to manager at Sherry-Lehman, the Hermitage is just to big. So he's calling for a Pinot Noir of some sort (just got off the phone). Hermitage goes back to store.

                          I'm torn--pleasantly, of course--on the transition Sauterne--Sherry--Pinot Noir (suggested). The amontillado does have some acidity, which is good, but another really nice set up with the consommé would be a Meursault. Right? Also less rocky road for my guests, who (like me) have never had three wines at one meal. Plus maybe a Port I've been saving. (The problem with the expensive ports I buy is I don't have people to drink them with (world's tiniest violin), and the opened bottle goes pfff.)

                          Actually, perhaps no port/cheese, but as you say a Demi-sec with a tart. Riesling? Or, hell, champagne? Won't have to be expensive, I plan to be drunk anyway by then.