This afternoon my wife and I headed off to Salviac to shop for some foie gras, and came home with quite a haul of typical local specialties — plus some good advice.
Martegoute is a major producer of duck and goose products, and is certainly one of the Greater Daglan Area’s best (and least costly) vendors of foie gras. Its Salviac outlet is a large and pleasant store, offering not only the poultry products you’d expect but also wines, liqueurs, preserves, and a nice array of tableware.
At the counter this afternoon was Madame Martegoute herself. When I told her that I was planning to make foie gras poêlé, she steered us away from “normal” foie gras (who knew?) and towards foie gras extra, which she explained is the foie of choice for sautéeing. Apparently it throws off less fat than the normal foie, which is best used for making patés.
Her keys to success: Use the extra type; ensure that the pan is extremely hot before placing the foie in it; cut fairly thick slices, on the diagonal; and let the liver get nicely brown before turning it. When I suggested cooking the foie about a minute on the first side and 30 seconds on the other, she shook her head firmly — “No, use your eye.”
So foie is what I’m cooking for dinner tonight, to be served with a little salad and some fig chutney with Monbazillac (the deliciously sweet wine from the Bergerac area).
Along with the foie gras and the Chutney de Figues au Monbazillac, we also bought a bottle of that delicious pear-based eau de vie, Vielle Liqueur de Poires William; two legs of confit de canard; and a package of confit de gésier — preserved duck giblets. Here’s the haul we brought home, most of which are typically Périgourdine products (Périgord being the former name for this part of the world, which is now the Dordogne):
I have special plans for the duck legs and the giblets, based on what I think is a reasonably original idea. This week I intend to create a Périgourdine version of steak and kidney pie, without either the steak or the kidneys. Now I just need to buy some pork. Stand by.