The Brome Lake Duck Festival will take place over the next weekend. The program includes food tasting, a public market place, musical concerts and a host of other activities. In fact, it is in the Eastern Townships that the main duck breeders are located. To know more, visit www.canardenfete.ca.
So here’s a good opportunity to get acquainted with this delicious, easy to prepare meat that makes a nice change from chicken. And what’s more, duck is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, and its composition is similar to that of olive oil.
This makes it beneficial to health, unlike other animal fats. In fact, duck fat is almost entirely concentrated in a layer beneath the skin. While Westerners prefer lean duck flesh, the Chinese like it mostly for its nice, fatty skin. Different strokes for different folks!
In the beginning, the famous Peking Duck from China was made solely from the skin of the duck, glazed with a honey-based mixture and then roasted over a fire. This expensive dish was reserved for the wealthy, while the flesh was left behind for their servants!
This week, I’d like to suggest a much simpler dish, made up of braised duck legs based on a traditional recipe from southwestern France, and pasta with duck confit based on … my tradition!
Originally published in the Journal de Montréal on September 18, 2010.