Foie Gras, Magret, and Other Good Food

Andre Daguin, Author, Anne De Ravel, Author, Anne De Ravel, With Random House (NY) $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-394-57027-3
At over $40 a pound, fresh foie gras (the liver of fattened ducks or geese) is hardly peasant fare. Yet Daguin, a renowned chef of southwestern France's Gascon region, where foie gras is a specialty, evokes an earthy, traditional cuisine rooted in local terrain and economy: garlic and anchovies, turnips and leeks, cloves, cinnamon and Armagnac characterize its hearty flavors. Daguin offers recipes for classic foie gras terrines, duck legs confit, cassoulet, white stews and garbure (the Gascon farmer's cabbage soup). Foie gras is baked in a pumpkin, braised with Madeira wine and truffle juice, steamed, sauteed or added to pheasant broth. Duck skin is rendered for its fat, then fried for a crisp appetizer. Its fat is also made into Gascon ``butter,'' with shallots and red wine. Even the simplest recipes demand skill, while the more complicated also require time and a full larder (e.g., garbure uses three kinds of confit), making many best suited to a restaurant kitchen. But intriguing descriptions of a foie gras market, a meal at Daguin's restaurant and farming in Gascony whet one's appetite to try this food on its native ground. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1988
Release date: 12/01/1988
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