I'm studying the Grand Diplome at Cordon Bleu in London

Posts tagged ‘duck confit’

Day 70 – Basque – Fri 27th April

Chef Gilles took the demo today (he has taken all but the 1st 2 cuisine demos this term) and cooked a couple of dishes from the Basque region of France which is in the south west along the border with Spain.

The first was chicken cooked basque style. The legs were braised with onions and red, yellow and green peppers and a little epilette pepper. The sauce was then reduced and liquidised. The breasts were rolled in cylinders and wrapped in Bayonne ham and baked in the oven. The chicken was served with a rice pilaf, some strips of peppers and a crisp baked shard of Bayonne ham.

Next the chef cooked a dessert which was a sweet pastry filled with a rum flavoured creme patissiere.

Then we had another practical with chef David, cooking the duck legs and foie gras. My, and several others, duck legs were not cooked in the time given to us in the class – 2 hours of cooking in duck fat. There is no definite time for cooking these – they’re cooked when tender – and long slow cooking is preferable to faster cooking. However they were almost tender and the potato salardaises was cooked well.

So was the foie gras. It’s amazing how much fat comes out of the foie gras as it cooks. It’s actually cooked in a dry pan and the fat runs out as it cooks. However I managed to cook it well and the sauce for both dishes was lovely.

Several people didn’t want their duck legs so, even though I only cooked 2, I came home with 5. Yummmmm.

Day 69 – Perigord, more duck – Thurs 26th April

We started today with the duck breast dish from yesterday and preparing the duck legs for the confit. We each had a whole duck to butcher, i.e. remove the breasts and legs and chop up the carcass to make the stock. We also had chef David taking us for the practical which was a change for us as we had only had him once before and that was in the 1st week of basic cuisine. He was very organised and a good teacher.

There were quite a lot of garnishes to prepare for the duck breasts (beetroot, celeriac, apple and pear segments, orange and lemon segments and zest julienne) which took everyone in the class quite a bit of time. Plus there was the duck butchery and salting and marinading the duck legs for tomorrow’s lessons.

All went well and my duck breast was cooked to the desired pink while the skin was crispy, the sauce was tasty and all looked good on the plate.

Next we had a demo on dishes from the Perigord region of France, famous for foie gras and truffles.

The chef confited the duck legs from yesterday and served them with salardaises potatoes (sliced potatoes cooked in a tin in duck fat with garlic) and a sauce of duck stock, madeira and diced black truffle.

The chef also prepared foie gras. The foie gras was sliced thickly, pan fried and served with a Sauternes and duck stock sauce, with a garnish of peeled grapes. We all got to taste the foie gras and it was delicious.

Lastly we each had a tutorial with chef Gilles where we got our average mark in cuisine for this term so far. I was pleased to find that I was currently 2nd in the class and doing pretty well. I hope I can continue the good score.

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