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Wagyu Beef is 25% off!

Go wild for Wagyu beef! It’s the peak of grilling season, time to show off your skills. We’ll help with 25% off our entire selection of Kobe-Style Wagyu beef. The rest is up to you.

Sale ends July 31, 2013 at 12:00 PM EST.  

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Try our Ultimate Burger: a Wagyu patty topped with foie gras & a dollop of truffle butter.

Liberté, Egalité, Charcuterie!

Celebrate like the French do: with good food and company, a street party, and a tall drink (bien sur!). Enjoy 20% off today through July 14, 2013.

Click below to link directly to our favorite foods for the fête.

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Presidential Palates

Happy President’s Day! We’ve done extensive internet research on presidential preferences in food. As a result, we now have a game plan in case any of our presidents come over for dinner.

George Washington (1789-1797) liked a savory steak and kidney pie, a common dish in his day, so we would bake him up some Venison Pie. Since he had his own whiskey distillery, we’d pour a few fingers of quality American whiskey.  It’s classic tavern food for the father of our country.

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Whole books have been written about Thomas Jefferson’s (1801-1809) love of food and his contributions to gastronomy. He introduced macaroni and ice cream to the United States, began experiments with viticulture, and wanted to make the country completely self-sustainable on the food front. We would honor him with a plate of Black Truffle Mac ‘n’ Cheese.

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Pancakes were favored by Andrew Jackson (1829-1837), Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929), Thomas Jefferson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945). Now, they might have meant fluffy breakfast pancakes, but we’d serve savory crepes with a béchamel sauce and sautéed wild mushrooms.

Since Washington, Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945) all liked sweet potatoes, they would surely appreciate this Pork Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Prunes.

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James Buchanan (1857-1861) and FDR relished cabbage, so to please them, along with Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909), who had a taste for game meat, we would serve Pheasant Braised under Cabbage. Three presidents, one dish.

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Our 16th president Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865) liked simple foods: fresh fruit, crackers and cheese, which we would arrange along with a few choice pieces of charcuterie like saucisson sec and jambon de Bayonne.

Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961) also kept it simple, preferring vegetable soup and steak. We’re sure he’d chow down on this Rib Eye Steak with Greens and Root Vegetable Mash and enjoy it.

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For Texan Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969), steak reigned supreme. But he loved every type of cooking; the White House kitchen said that “he will eat anything that doesn’t bite him first.” He adored French haute cuisine, Southern cooking, German specialties, but most of all, he loved Mexican food (also the favored cuisine of George W. Bush). LBJ took entertaining from the white tablecloth to the backyard when he threw barbeques for foreign heads of state. He sounds like our kind of eater! We could make him happy with any number of dishes, from Terrine of Foie Gras to Sweet and Sticky Baby Back Ribs or Duck Confit Tamales.

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John F. Kennedy (1961-1963) really went for soups. His favorite was New England Fish Chowder, which was frequently served in the White House. He was perfectly happy with soup, a sandwich and some fruit for lunch. Though simpler in his tastes than Mrs. Kennedy, who planned elaborate French menus for state occasions, he did enjoy Poulet a l’Estragon, that is, Chicken and Tarragon.

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Barack Obama loves a good hamburger, and we think our Big Bleu Burger is perfect for him. We’d like to serve that with some of his beer brewed at the White House. Come to think of it, Bill Clinton (1993-2001) famously loved a burger when he was in office. So burgers all around!

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Many of the founding fathers loved ice cream (quite a novelty with no refrigeration); Thomas Jefferson is responsible for the first ice cream recipe in the States. He probably kept cool on hot days in Virginia with his favorite flavor: vanilla.

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George Washington, James Madison (1809-1817), and in the modern era, LBJ and Barack Obama have all confessed to a fondness for the cold stuff. But who doesn’t like ice cream? So we know what’s for dessert: Black Truffle Ice Creamimg (2)

Theodore Roosevelt loved drinking tea, so we’d be sure to include a steaming pot of black tea. And of course, a bowl of jelly beans in honor of Ronald Reagan (1981-1989).

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12/12/12 Sale! Get shopping people!

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It’s that time again…

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A message from Ariane

Dear customers, chefs and friends,

We are happy to report that D’Artagnan headquarters, in Newark NJ, has now returned to normal activities as power was restored.

While several of our team members have incurred damage to their homes, and are still without electricity, they are all here to resume work.

Our hearts go out to the thousands less fortunate than us.

We would like to thank our Mayor Cory Booker and his crew for a swift clean up. And huge thanks to all of you who called and wrote messages of sympathy and concern.  We are humbled to be a part of such a caring community. And now we know foie gras doesn’t float.

Ariane Daguin, Owner and CEO

And The D’Artagnan Family

Featured Recipe: Chicken with Autumn Vegetables and Madeira

This wonderful recipe is adapted from Chef Frank Stitt’s excellent cookbook, Southern Table. The warming dish is Chef Stitt’s version of coq au vin, made with Madeira instead of red wine, served over puréed root vegetables and topped with crispy bits of country ham. We think it’s the perfect dish for rainy fall weather.

photo courtesy of Artisan Publishing

Chicken with Autumn Vegetables and Madeira
Serves 8

Ingredients

For the Autumn Vegetable Puree:

2 medium turnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
1/2 medium rutabaga, peeled, trimmed and cut ino small chunks
1 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the Chicken:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 Organic Free-Range Chicken, 3 to 4 lbs, rinsed and cut into serving pieces
Salt and coarsely-ground black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 cup medium-dry Madeira
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups homemade chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
2 to 3 sprigs thyme
3 bay leaves
2 slices country ham, thin slices, cut into thin julienne strips

Glazed Root Vegetables, if desired

Preparation
1. In a large heavy sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Raise the heat to medium-high and sear the pieces on all sides until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a rack set over a baking sheet and set aside.

2. Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the pan over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook until softened and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the Madeira and white wine, bring to a boil, and reduce by three-quarters. Add the broth, thyme, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer.

3. Place the chicken in a casserole and pour the simmering broth over it. Cover the chicken with parchment paper, then cover the pan with a lid or aluminum foil and braise in the oven until tender, about 15 minutes for the breast and 45 to 55 minutes for the dark meat. Remove the pieces as they are done and transfer to a rack set over a baking sheet.

4. Strain the braising liquid into a large saucepan and set the pan over medium-high heat, half on and half off the burner so you can easily skim off the fat as it rises to the cooler side of the pan. Reduce by about half, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter bit by bit, swirling it into the sauce. Add the chicken to the pan and heat through.

5. Spoon the vegetable purée onto individual plates. Arrange the chicken next to the purée and then the glazed vegetables (if serving) alongside. Garnish with the little strips of country ham.

All About Wild Hare

This small, common game animal has been a part of the human diet since early history, and bone remains have been discovered in ancient caves in Greece dating back to 15,000 BC. While rabbit boasts a mild flavor, wild hare appeals mostly to ardent game lovers, as its red meat is distinctly gamey in flavor.

Although both animals are from the same family, they are from different genera: hare is Lepus and rabbit is Oryctolagus. Hares are larger, weighing anywhere from 5 to 8 pounds. They have longer ears, and larger hind legs and feet. In spite of their names, American jackrabbits and snowshoe rabbits are both hares. The cottontail, however, is a rabbit.

The flesh of hare is darker, and the legs always need long, slow braising to become tender and less gamy. The saddles are best served rare. Because of its assertiveness, hare loves aggressive flavors—dried fruits, rich wines, wild mushrooms—as its partners. A slow bath in a hearty red wine and dried cherries, or a full-bodied port wine with fresh thyme does wonders to temper a hare.

Of all the ways to prepare a hare, the most noble is surely Lièvre à la Royale—boned hare stuffed with foie gras and forcemeat. Rolled and braised in wine and stock, the hare is then sliced and presented with quenelles and sauce (often made with egg yolks and foie gras). “Royal hare” is a labor-intensive dish likely developed for French monarchy, and passed down into the annals of culinary history as a legendary dish, on the life list of nearly every gourmand. It is claimed to be one of the most challenging dishes in French cooking, but it rewards with intense, concentrated flavor and richness.

Photo from the blog Paris by Mouth

Hare has been a constant from the royal table to the peasant kitchen, as jugged hare will attest. References to this classic recipe appear in England before the Roman invasion, where it was long considered fare for poor country folk. A recipe for jugged hare was recorded in an early 18th century cookbook, and the French make it, too, calling it civet de lièvre. To jug a hare is to cut it into pieces, marinate and cook it in red wine and juniper berries in a tall jug standing inside a pan of water. Traditionally, the hare’s blood is added to the sauce.

Civet de Lièvre Recipe

Older hare can be tough so many braising and stewing recipes were developed to tenderize the meat. Roasting is only used for young animals, but when hunting animals it’s hard to pick and choose which one you get. Like all game meat, wild hare is lean, so if benefits from moist cooking like braising and stewing.

At D’Artagnan, wild Scottish brown hare (Lepus europaeus) is procured in weekend estate hunts organized from mid-September to February, and is immediately processed in a facility supervised by the European Economic Community Inspectors. Like all our wild, hunted game, hare may contain shot, so chew with care.

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS:
Braised Legs of Wild Hare in Thyme-Port Wine Sauce
Lièvre à la Royale Garnished with Ziti in Wine-Cream Sauce and Beet Mousseline

Join in the Fun at Le Taste of France

Le Taste of France is a national celebration of French culture that culminates with a big weekend event (Le Show) in NYC on September 29 & 30. D’Artagnan is proud to participate as a sponsor, and will be serving savory treats at Le Show. We invite you to come out, meet and mingle, sample dishes from some great chefs, sip French wines, buy French wares, learn to play pétanque and join in the general joie de vivre.

But never fear, if you are not in NYC and want a taste of France, many of our restaurant clients around the country will be playing along.  They will offer a special D’Artagnan duck dish on the menu from September 20-30, and will show their French spirit in unique ways. So put on your beret and find a restaurant near you to join in the fun. Check our map for participating restaurants. And please take photos of the duck dishes and share them on our Facebook page. We’ll be doing the same!

All About Porcini Mushrooms

The porcini is a native mushroom almost everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere, throughout North American, European and Asian forests, though it has been introduced in parts of the Southern Hemisphere, including Australia and South America. The universally popular boletus mushroom grows under specific trees, including pine, but most commonly under chestnut trees, during the summer and autumn. Known, and loved, in Italy as porcini (meaning piglet), this mushroom is also called cèpe in French, from the Gascon word cep, meaning trunk, referring to its fat stem. Sometimes the porcini is called the king of mushrooms.

Porcini are always gathered in the wild and not cultivated, because the complex and symbiotic relationship between the mushroom and the tree roots is hard to reproduce. All varieties of porcini are characterized by a thick stems and round, fat caps when young. As the mushroom grows the cap flattens and opens up a bit. So a fat young porcini mushroom will look entirely different than the older version. Stems are pale and caps can range from light tan to deep burgundy-brown. Porcini can grow as large as a foot across but are often picked when much smaller. The porcini differs from other mushrooms in that it has a spore sponge, not gills underneath the cap. As the mushroom ages this pale spore sponge will darken and turn green. This is something to look for when buying fresh porcini, and is an indication that the mushroom is past its prime. There are lots of look-a-like boletes that get passed off as porcini, but aficionados know that nothing can come close the king of mushrooms.

Cleaning
Use a minimum of water and try not to allow water to enter the spore sponge under the cap. Cut away any dark spots or green areas. Keep an eye out for worms, who also find porcini tasty. If there is lots of dirt on the porcini, toss it gently in a colander, or gently wipe with a damp paper towel.

Eugenia Bone’s Bruschetta with Porcini Butter & Truffles

Cooking
The versatile porcini has been used in traditional cooking from Scandinavia to Southern Europe, and the mushroom is a favorite in Gascony, France, cooked in duck fat, of course. And Italians have made an art of cooking with porcini, both dried and fresh. The cap and stem of this mushroom are equally tasty, but the texture of the stem is slightly tougher than the cap. The porcini mushroom is meaty and the taste is intense: rich and woodsy with subtle nutty undertones. These mushrooms are delicate in flavor but vigorous enough in body to be used in brown sauces, and will stand up to strong flavors like grilled steak. Cook the stems slowly, in soups or braises, but sauté the caps in duck fat or butter. Porcini are a wonderful partner to pasta, risotto and gravies.

Frank Stitt’s Pappardelle with Rabbit, Porcini & Parmesan

Preserving
If you are lucky enough to possess fresh porcini, eat as many as you can in that state. However, this sturdy mushroom dries well. More often available frozen or dried, the flavor and texture of this hardy mushroom can withstand either process. Dried mushrooms can be reconstituted with hot water in a short time, and the porcini-infused water can also be used in a sauce, soup or pasta dish.

You may find porcini powder available year round, which can act as a magical dust in dry rubs, stews, stuffing, and especially in sauces. It is like a secret weapon in the kitchen, bringing great depth of flavor in any dish to which it is added.


RECIPE SUGGESTIONS:
Roast Veal with Porcini
Mario Batali’s Barbequed Squab al Mattone with Porcini Mustard