Tuesday, August 3, 2010

To Foie or Not to Foie

The Perigord is famous for foie gras, or duck liver. The ducks are fed a diet of corn, so that their livers will be larger than other ducks. There is a huge debate about foie gras, with many chefs, and whole cities banning it from menus rather than risk the wrath of animal cruelty organizations. My hero Anthony Bourdain (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABeWlY0KFv8) decries this and after my week in the home of France's best foie gras I have to agree.

These are very happy ducks, in the shadow of a Chateaux; what could be finer?

Preparation of foie gras at La Combe en Perigord. The foie gras is flash sauteed, and then served with a fig and onion confit and Monbazillac a sweet wine from Bergerac---heaven on a plate!
This is the recipe for the fig and onion confit which is delicious dolloped on goat cheese, or served on the side with poultry or chicken.
Fig and Onion Confit
Makes about 3 cups

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 large yellow onions, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
12 dried figs, coarsely chopped

In a large sauté pan, melt the butter, add the onions, and sauté until the onions begin to turn golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Add the brown sugar, vinegar and figs, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, until the figs have dissolved into the confit, and the mixture is thickened like jam.
Cool completely before refrigerating for up to 1 week. Serve the confit with pork, or poultry.

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