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CONFIT DE CANARD, duck that’s salt-cured and then poached in its own fat, is a French culinary delight. There are several confitted ducks I have known, and here are tidbits on each one.
D’Chez Eux, Paris. I enjoyed my first Confit de Canard at the Parisian restaurant D’Chez Eux; this, thanks to a dear American woman in Michelin PR. As I recall it, in her training with this French tiremaker she resided in a hotel in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, not far from Les Invalides. Nearby was l’Auberge D’Chez Eux, loosely, the Inn From Home.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but D’Chez Eux has quite the reputation, having hosted the former presidents Jacques Chirac “a gourmand, pure and simple,” and François Hollande “a wine lover… who likes his meat and fish… a particular fan of chocolate,” as well as the current president Emmanuel Macron.
D’Chez Eux’s website notes, “Cochonnails and cured meats hanging from the salting tub make a trapeze: Iberian hams and chorizo, dry sausages and sausages, baskets galore overflowing with rosettes from Lyon stamped Colette Sibilia, and will be served at your discretion to start flamboyant feasts.”
I forgot precisely how my own D’Chez Eux repast began, but looking at the current menu I bet my Entrée would have been Filet de hareng de chez Petrossian, pomme de terre tièdes (Filet of Petrossian herring, warm potatoes) (19€).
I’m sure about the Plat, though: It was Cuisse de canard confite, pommes grenailles à l’ail (Duck leg confit, new potatoes with garlic) (24€).
Others of our group chose Plats of tasty beef or chicken, served with pommes frites, what we ’Mericans call French Fries. I conned a fry and suspect it was cooked in duck fat. Formidable!
Gourmet Markets, Southern California. Other Duck Confit I’ve known require considerably less travel: My favorite gourmet market is only a few miles away. And its freezer case ordinarily carries a quite tasty Duck Confit. It comes vacuum-packed in its own duck fat, with enough left over for proper fries as well.
Mais, zut alors! They were out of it. So I tried another speciality market. No dice there either, but fortunately they did have frozen duck and little vats of rendered duck fat.
La Petite Bette, Quebec. A charming woman named Manon Lapierre Boheme also comes to my culinary rescue.
Manon is communications director for Quebec, Procter & Gamble and she also puts together a delightful website known as La Petite Bette, the Little Chard.
Her charming presentation brings my almost dormant French back to me. I especially like her canard imitation. ds
© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2022