Monday, July 24, 2006

Magret de Canard recipe

There are lots of recipies for magret out there. Both Paula Wolfert in SouthWestern French Cooking and Jeanne Strang in Goose Fat & Garlic have good ones. My recipe is just my way of doing it; nothing special.
Last time we were in the states I discovered that Whole Foods was selling magret; don't know if they still are what with all the flap about force feeding the ducks for fois gras. Sure glad we live in France.


Roughly 1 whole magret per person, a bit less if they're large.
Lots of fresh thyme leaves, well rubbed
Coarse sea salt & freshly ground pepper.


  1. Trim the fat on the magrets to remove any pin feathers, veins & the like.
  2. Carefully cut a cross hatch pattern in the fat avoiding cutting into the meat underneath as much as possible.
  3. Rub the salt into the fat.
  4. Place the magrets fat side down in a frying pan over low/medium heat.
  5. Cook until the fat has rendered. This will take 15-20 minutes & you will want to drain off the accumulated fat 2 or 3 times. (Save the fat in a sterilized sealable container such as a canning jar. Let the fat cool then keep it in the fridge. Its wonderful for cooking with.)
  6. Once the fat has rendered take the magrets off heat & grind the pepper and sprinkle the thyme leaves over the meat side. Let rest until you are ready to finish cooking.
  7. There are three basic options for finishing the magrets. In the frying pan, in the oven or on the BBQ.
    1. In the pan. Place a frying pan over high heat. When hot put the magret in FAT SIDE DOWN. Fry for 2-3 minutes until fat is crisp. Turn over & cook meat side for 1-3 minutes to taste. (Traditionally magret is served rare.)
    2. In the oven. Heat oven to 400F. Place magrets in a roasting tray with a rack. Fat side down. Roast for 10-15 minutes checking to get the right degree of doneness.
    3. On the BBQ. Get the BBQ good & hot. Place magrets FAT SIDE DOWN over the coals & roast for 1-3 minutes moving them around whenever there is a flareup. Turn the magrets over & cook the meat side for 2-3 minutes. (This is my favorite method.)
  8. Slice the magrets thinly across their width & serve immediately.
That's it. A simple dish, but delicious with the Aillade.

A wonderful variation is drain the frying pan of any fat & then too add slices of fresh fois gras to the frying pan for the last minute or so of cooking. Slice your magret as before & serve each portion with a slice of fois gras on top. Very rich & very wonderful.

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