Even though we just had some duck breast the week before, we wound up having duck again the following week! For a while now, I had been planning to pick up some foie gras from my favorite Sonoma duck source when Uly and I go to Sonoma for a mini-vacation in late December. However, I just couldn't wait when I saw that they had duck confit on sale again after being out of stock for several months. I jumped at the chance and ordered a bunch of duck leg confits (4 pairs!) as well as replenishing our foie gras supply.
Fresh seared foie gras, cranberry walnut bread
Since we had the foie gras anyway, we decided to go with that as our first course. I have to say, even though frozen foie gras is still yummy even after a year, there's just nothing like a nice fresh piece of foie. We decided not to have a sauce, and just served it seared as is, so we can fully enjoy the flavor that freshness brings. I wanted some brioche to go with it, but sadly Trader Joe's no longer carries it so I just had to settle for some cranberry-walnut bread (this way we can use the same bread for cheese later). The sweetness of the bread helped compensate for the lack of fruit/sauce and was a great compliment to our "naked" foie gras.
Chateau Monbazillac 2000 with the foie
I had a bottle of Chateau de Monbazillac 2000 that has been sitting in our cellar for quite some time, so it seemed like a good time to break it out. I almost forgot that we had it, I think I bought it on sale a long time ago. Monbazillac is one of those wines that they usually pair with foie gras at restaurants, given its similarity to Sauternes (but usually cheaper since it's a lesser-known region). I remember actually enjoying Monbazillac more than Sauternes in the past, due to its lighter, more subtle flavor. Maybe if I ever have a really good Sauternes like Chateau d'Yquem that will change my mind. I do think that having aged this wine for a bit (we probably bought it 3-4 years ago) definitely made it lighter, more subtle, and definitely much better! Maybe I should "forget" about some of my other wines for a few years too! As an added bonus, it gave me a good excuse to use my also-new port/dessert wine glasses (yeah, I've been obsessed with wine glasses recently!)
On to our main course. The duck confit is probably the easiest duck dish we've ever prepared, since it's pretty much already cooked. All we had to do was warm it up in the oven for about 20 minutes and we're done! For our main side, I prepared some Pommes de Terre Sarladaise (potatoes cooked in duck fat), which is a classic accompaniment to duck confit. Unlike my roast potatoes, this dish requires a lot less duck fat so it's a bit (just a bit!) less rich and greasy. A touch of garlic and parsley at the end helps cut through the fattiness too...in the end this kind of reminds me of garlic fries! It seems like a fitting accompaniment to a nice rustic dish like duck confit. For our veggies, we just steamed some haricot verts (french green beans) to have something light and healthy to balance the meal. We were able to prepare the sides in pretty much the same time it took to heat up the duck confit...so for a lot less labor, we actually had a duck main course and sides that was way easier to make that last week's duck breast, and just as good (if not better!). Good thing we still have 3 more pairs of duck leg confit in the fridge!
Duck leg confit, steamed haricot verts, pommes de terre sarladaise
We had a nice bottle of burgundy (Magnien M. Morey Saint Denis 'Tres Girard' 2005 ) to go with our duck confit dinner, figure we'll go all the way with the French theme, and it was nice to try a French Burgundy in my new glasses to contrast with the American Pinot the week before. This wine was stronger and more powerful than the Pinot, and went perfectly with the more flavorful dark meat of the duck leg. It helped complete our nice, simple, and very French duck meal. I think duck is definitely up there as one of my all-time favorite meats now.
Magnien M. Morey Saint Denis 'Tres Girard' 2005