16 February 2009

Not duck again...!?!

You know, I posted those three topics about duck (here, here, and here) and I negelected to get around to the choicest morsel available — the fattened liver, or « foie gras » (pronounced [fwah 'grah]). This is the delicacy that ducks are raised for.

"Ordinary" foie gras

Intermarché had two grades of foie gras on special last week. The first is just standard grade, called tout venant — the ordinary stuff. At just over $11.00 a pound, it's affordable, I guess.

"Extraordinary" foie gras

The higher grade, called extra — which in French means something like "choice" and is probably short for "extraordinary" — goes for $15.30 U.S. a pound. For the amount you are going to consume — very little — you might as well go for the extra stuff.

Duck carcasses come in two grades too.

The two final cuts of duck you can buy, at the opposite end of the price scale, are the carcasses. One is the whole duck minus the breast filets, and it's called a paletot, which means "the back" or "the coat." You get the leg & thigh sections plus the wings, along with the back.

If you just want the back — and it would be good for making duck broth or stock — ask for the « demoiselle de canard ». It's for the stockpot, or it can be grilled on the barbecue for those who like to pick bits of meat off the bones. I have friends who think nothing is better than that.


  1. Hi Ken, I love ze duck. The links that you posted for other duck posts weren't live. Can you repost?

  2. I would understand the "qualifier" paletot for the value-added carcass but "demoiselle" just for the carcass- makes one wonder sometimes how they come with those names :-)

  3. There's no such thing as "duck AGAIN?" You can never have too much duck.

    Chicken however, is often referred to around here as chickenagain.

  4. All mouth watering stuff...I LOVE duck. However, I am tortured a bit because I also really LIKE ducks.

    BTW Anybody had their duck at Tour d'Argent?

  5. Ken,

    In answer to the question from Bill: My wife and I had the duck at Tour D'Argent on my 60th birthday. Truth to tell, I was so dazzled by the service and the quality of the wine that I have little recall of what it was like. I make a lot of magret on my charcoal grill each summer which we eat just very rare with several grinds of black pepper and my sense is that the duck at the Tour was about as good as that. My favorite part of the meal was the quenelles de brochet. Oh and did I mention the wine?

    Dennis Martin


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