CONFIT MY CANARD
This is my Paris comfort meal so I found it very fitting for the first Dinner For One episode. It's a very important and special dish for me because it was one of the first meals my former mother-in-law made for me and I immediately felt welcomed and loved. So although I am now living this Paris experience alone I feel, spiritually at least, that I am being guided and helped on this journey by all of the amazing, strong, women that are a part of my life.
I know that this transition will not be easy, I am not naive. But I'm ready. I'm ready to make mistakes, grow and learn.
As I mentioned in the episode, I slightly cheated with this dish because I didn’t make the canard (duck) from scratch. I bought the duck thigh from Monoprix, so if you’re in France it is quite easy to find, but if you live outside of France I am not quite sure if you can find the same type of semi pre-made duck thigh. That said, you have two options you can be a rock star and make your duck confit from scratch (BRAVO!) or you can buy it already made from your butcher and make the potatoes and carrots at home. Carrots aren’t traditionally served with this dish but I wanted to add a bit of color and my own touch, so I included them. But don’t feel obliged to use carrots, you can use any other type of root vegetable you would like or you can follow the more traditional path and use only potatoes. The choice is yours.
Confit Canard with roasted potatoes, carrots and green salad
3 red potatoes (I know that there are more potatoes in the photo, I only used 3 though)
1 medium sized carrot
Ground black pepper
½ head of lettuce
If you use the store bought semi pre-made cuisse de canard the instructions are on the box. The only thing extra I did was add a pinch of salt and a tiny bit of ground black pepper before popping it in the oven. I used fleur de sel because I find it more flavorful and I like the way the big salt flakes look but you can use fine salt if that is what you have on hang.
If you are cooking the canard from scratch, again BRAVO! But I can’t help you there. You have more courage, time and patience than I do.
I was supposed to pre-heat my oven to gas mark 5 (190 C, 375 F) but I forgot so I did it mid-preparation. Don’t be like me, don’t forget. The first thing you should do is pre-heat the oven.
I roughly chopped the carrots and potatoes, they don’t have to be very pretty. I would say you can probably get 4-6 nice pieces out of each potato (I always use the leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day).
After chopping the potatoes and carrots I placed them all into a bowl then added 1 tablespoon and a bit more of olive oil, 1 ½ teaspoons of salt, 2 teaspoons of pepper and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder. You can add more salt, pepper and garlic powder if you would like. Since there is salt on the canard and there will be salt in the salad dressing I did not want to be over do it. But we all have a different tolerance for salt and pepper so please add as much as you would like.
Then I mixed the seasonings with the veggies by hand. In my opinion you get a more even coverage when you do it by hand. When everything was nicely mixed I put it in the oven for about 45 minutes. After 45 minutes check the potatoes and carrots, if your fork doesn’t easily pierce the veggies then leave them in the oven. I would recommend simply checking them every 5 minutes or so to make sure they don’t burn.
At around the 30-minute mark I put the semi pre-made canard in the oven because it only takes about 15 minutes to cook.
While the potatoes and carrots were getting soft and brown in the oven I “made” the salad. I chopped off the white bits of the lettuce then washed and dried the leaves (is that what the remaining bits are called?). Then I mixed 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and some fine salt and ground pepper together. Don’t be afraid to whisk aggressively, you really want the balsamic and olive oil to blend together nicely. I like my balsamic vinaigrette quite thick so I always add more balsamic vinegar than olive oil but you can play with the measurements.
When the vinaigrette reached my desired level of thickness I put it to the side and waited until everything else was finished. At the last minute I added the vinaigrette to the salad and tossed because who wants a soggy salad?
Once everything is cooked and out of the oven, I sprinkled about 1 ½ teaspoon of chopped fresh parsley on the potatoes and carrots et voilà Dinner For One was ready to be plated.
I hope that you enjoy this meal as much as I did.
But wait, there's more!
There will be a playlist to go along with every episode. These are the theme songs, emotions, vibes that I want to transmit from my little Parisian kitchen to yours.