Duck is a favorite and common ingredient in French cuisine. Canard, as duck is known in French, can be cooked in many ways using its leg for confit (preserved in duck fat) or rillettes (a spread from shredded meat cooked in fat), breast for magret de canard (roasted duck breast), and of course, the foie gras or fattened duck liver made into paté and other delightful dishes.
Superior duck is abundant in the city of Rouen in Northern France. The ducks here are primarily raised for roasting and others for egg-laying. In the market, the ducks are usually sold as young and tender ducklings, freshly cleaned or deep-frozen. Another word for the duckling is caneton, which should weigh in at 4 to 5 pounds and grown under 6 months. In southwest France, there are also plenty of duck dishes in the Dordogne in the region of Aquitaine.
In this collection, you can try various French duck recipes. To know which breed of duck to use, keep this in mind: the nantais is a table duckling common in French duck recipes while the canard de barbarie is used for braising since it’s much larger and older, according to Julia Child’s seminal Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Duck aiguillettes are pan-fried duck with stewed pears, which uses duck breast in thin strips (hence aiguillettes) or as fillets. Magret de canard is a thick slice of duck breast stuffed with a frozen classic pepper sauce and then pan-fried. Another French duck recipe is duck filets, flavored with a delightful coffee bean sauce. Duck can also be served with other meats, as shown in the grilled meats and sauces for meat farandoles. Whichever preparation you choose for the French duck, give it special attention and you’ll surely be making a winning dish.