We also have been cooking. We've eaten duck a couple of times this week. It's duck leg-and-thigh pieces cooked as confit, which means it's slow cooked in duck fat as they do it in southwestern France.
This is a photo of a cuisse de canard confite that has been taken out of the duck fat it was cooked in and lightly browned in a hot oven.
The whole southwest of France is known for duck and goose dishes.
In northern France, cooking is based on dairy products including butter and cream. In southeastern France — Provence and the Nice area — the cooking is based on olive oil. And in the southwest — centered on Toulouse — it's all about duck and goose fat.
Yesterday I made pommes de terre sarladaises to go with the duck. Sarlat is one of the main towns in the Périgord region, four or five hours south of here by car. It's also one of the most beautiful, though it can be overrun with tourists. The potatoes in my photo are sauteed in duck fat after having been cooked whole in a steamer pot and then sliced. We had some garden-grown kale as a side dish, as you can see above. And the parsley comes from the greenhouse.
The other common accompaniment for duck or goose in southwestern France is white beans. The beans of choice are called lingots blancs, which are very similar to, or even exactly the same bean, as Italian cannellini beans. These cost 1.10€ per 500-gram box, so 2.20€ per kilo, at Intermarché.
Earlier in the week, I cooked a kilogram of dried lingot blanc beans in the slow-cooker. I soaked them briefly (three or four hours) in the crockpot the then turned it on and let the beans cook in the soaking liquid for 10 hours on the low temperature setting. I seasoned them with black pepper, thyme, onion, garlic, and a few allspice berries, but no salt until they were fully cooked to keep them tender.
The beans came out exceedingly tender and with the texture they call fondant in French — melt-in-your-mouth good. I put some of them in a baking dish, laid two duck legs on top, and covered the dish with some bread crumbs before putting it in the oven for 30 or 40 minutes to make a quick cassoulet.