Duck with Garlic, Tomatoes and Olives : Canard à la Niçoise : Lesson 13 : LCB at Home

Today there were a few deviations from the recipes; this will be occurring as confidence builds while executing these lessons. 

Daurade Crue à l'Aneth : Marinated Sea Bream with Fresh Dill

Salmon Marinated 020720081453

It started out as Sea Bream but since I'd done the same recipe with Salmon in class in Paris we figured to go with the cheaper/more colorful option.  Layered between a mix of lemon and lime juice, shallots (very finely and neatly diced), olive oil, salt & pepper and a few hours to marinate.  Quite a success.

Salade d'avocat : Avocado Salad with Tomato

Unexpectedly (not mentioned in the menu listing) was a veggie salad to accompany the fish.  It's simply diced avocado mixed with some lemon juice, olive oil, and salt & pepper; with diced tomato and a few decorative leaves of lettuce underpinning it and some decorative dill on top. It's all very '70s looking. And surprisingly tasty for something so simple.

Avocado Salad 020720081450


Canard à la Niçoise : Duck with Garlic, Tomatoes and Olives

The star of the show.  Delicious.  But there's not a lot of meat on one of these; I was worried that there wasn't enough for 6 people.

When preparing the duck remember to remove the wishbone (at the neck end); it makes the cutting of the meat ever so much easier.

Followed the recipe as written more or less (see the book: Le Cordon Bleu: At Home) except for two things:

1) I could not get a duck like the ones in France so we went over to Chinatown and got a nice fresh one there; as a result the tail end could not be trussed shut (as you can see on the right of the picture [compare to the picture in Marinated Fish, Duck, Crepes : Lesson 13 : Le Cordon Bleu at Home).

and 2) triple the use of cloves and don't discard them at the end

and 3) I didn't cook the whole thing on top of the stove. In cooking school and in professional kitchens the finishing of the dish is almost inevitably done in the oven; it's cooked in a covered casserole so why bother taking up space on a burner or two - better to get it out of the way.  Bring the thing to a boil on top of the stove and then stick it in a hot oven.
Some day I'd like to try this in the sous-vide manner - maybe 65C [145F] for a few hours.

well... also 4) I cooked it for an hour and then removed it from the stove to go on "standby" until dinner-time was closer.  Did the last half hour in a 350F [175C] oven to get it back up to temperature and finish it off.
I would have been better off cooking it for 40 minutes at first and then 30 at the end; the meat was very nice but would have been even better if it was a bit less "done".

oh, and...  5) I did not deglaze with cognac but with Brandy from Jerez (Spain); also delicious and much more reasonably priced.
Duck Nicoise 020720081454

Crêpes à la Gelée de Groseilles : Crepes with Red Current Jelly

Another major change to the recipe.  No red currant jelly.  It's strawberry season so let's exploit the opportunity.

Make the crepes (the sweet sort), sprinkle the "inside" with Cointreau, roll 'em up, line either side with 'berries and dust with powdered sugar.  These were very popular and a nice light finish to the meal.
Crepe 020720081459

Note:  Also served were some green beans (there are never any vegetable dishes in French cuisine) and a few baked potatoes (since the oven was on anyway).

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