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Posts tagged ‘dartagnan foods’

Ideas for Edible Holiday Gifts

Edible holiday gifts, made lovingly by hand, are often times the most appreciated. Not only a delightful gesture, rolling up your sleeves and getting messy in the kitchen can be a lot of fun. Plus, it’s a great way to check multiple people off of your gift list in one fell swoop. Here are our picks for delicious holiday gifts using our products.

biscochitos

1. Duckfat Biscochitos   

A traditional sugar cookie made with lard, biscochitos are a Christmas staple in the American Southwest. But the orange and fennel flavor reminds us more of Southwest France. So we had to create a version that uses our duckfat, bien sur! A duck-shaped cookie cutter gives a little extra D’Artagnan flair.

foiebutter

2. Foie Gras Butter   

This decadent treat will impress even the most die-hard foodies on your gift list. They don’t have to know how easy it is to make!

brittle

3. Pig Brittle 

Sweet, salty and smoky, this crunchy candy is generously studded with our applewood-smoked bacon and toasted pecans.  Just be warned – not only is Pig Brittle delicious, it’s addicting! Once your recipients taste it, it’ll be requested year after year.

garlic confit

4. Garlic Confit

A cooking staple in Gascon cooking, garlic confit is the gift that will keep on giving long after the holidays are over. Plump garlic cloves are gently cooked in duckfat until meltingly tender. Kept in the fridge, the confit will keep for up to a year (although it never lasts that long…). Cloves can be added to all kinds of recipes from sauces to braises to roasts.

rillettes

5. Rillettes

We are firm believers simple pleasures, our duck rillettes are made with duck, aromatic vegetables, herbs and little else. A small pot of this unctuous, meaty spread makes a wonderful gift, especially when paired with a crusty baguette!

Packaging

Of course an edible D’Artagnan gift should be presented with panache!

Rillettes, Foie Gras Butter and Garlic Confit should be packaged in non-reactive glass or ceramic jars that can be refrigerated, such as Weck Canning Jars or Le Creuset Mini Cocottes. We like tying gift tags on jars with festive red & white bakers string.

Pig Brittle and Duckfat Biscochitos can be left at room temp so the packaging possibilities are endless! Two of our favorite sites for packaging ideas and supplies are Cakegirls and Garnish. Check them out – both shops have a great selection and wonderful blogs full of creative ideas for packaging edibles.

All About Capon

A capon is a male chicken that is gelded, or castrated, at a young age, and then fed a rich diet of milk or porridge until it reaches 6 to 12 pounds, between the age of 5 and 6 months. The flesh is very white and, unlike that of other chickens, marbled with fat. Larger than a chicken, a bit smaller than a turkey, but more flavorful than either, capons are full breasted with tender, juicy, flavorful meat that is well suited to roasting.

They tend to taste less gamy than an intact rooster would, and yield moist tender meat with high fat content. Because of its size, the capon is a good choice to feed a dinner party, or even a small Thanksgiving gathering in place of turkey.

Caponization is done either by surgical removal of the testes, or, as some factory poultry producers prefer, by estrogen implants. Capons that are labeled “all natural” have been surgically caponized. Because of the loss of sex hormones, the normally aggressive barnyard rooster becomes a docile, mellow creature. Capons can be housed together as they will not fight for dominance, which makes the process of raising them a lot easier on the farmer. Capons are less active because of the neutralization of sex hormones so their flesh does not become tough and muscled but instead is fatty and tender. Other physical changes to a capon include a smaller head, comb and wattle.

History
While humankind has been eating chicken for a long time—at least since 4000 BC in Asia—the capon’s history is a bit murkier. When it was first decided to castrate a young male chicken and then fatten it up is open for debate, but some lay it at the doorstep of the Romans. A law was passed during a period of drought (162 BC) forbidding the fattening of hens, as it was deemed a waste of precious grain. Wily breeders skirted the letter of the law by instead castrating roosters and fattening them for sale, though these capons were much larger than hens, so they must have eaten plenty of grain. The name “capon” comes from the Latin “capo,” meaning “cut.” Through the Middle Ages, capons were especially popular with the clergy and kings, and thus popularized throughout Europe, where capon was stuffed, roasted, stewed and baked into pies. In present-day France and Italy, capons are traditionally served at Christmas.

Cooking
Capons require longer cooking times than typical chickens because of their larger size. Roasting capons at lower temperatures helps bring out the flavor, but also adds to the cooking time. As a general rule, a capon should be roasted for 17 minutes per pound, so a 10 lb. bird would require a total roasting time of just under 3 hours. The poultry is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the capon’s thigh reads 165 degrees or the juices run clear. Whether poached or stuffed and roasted, capons offer rich taste and lots of meat to go around the table.

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS:
Roasted Capon with Chestnut Honey
Capon Poule au Pot with Foie Gras Stuffing
Capon with Mango Glaze
Roasted Capon with Mushroom Truffle Stuffing
Roasted Capon with Cognac Mushroom Sauce
Sweet Chestnut Stuffed Capon

All About Muscovy Duck

The Muscovy duck (Cairina moschataoriginated in the warm region of South America, and although a tropical bird, can adapt to cold weather conditions down to 10°F without ill effects. This recommended it to domestication in North America, and also made possible flocks of feral ducks in parks. Muscovy ducks are brown-black in color, with some pale wing coloration, but many of the domesticated ducks have been bred for white feathers.

The drake, or male, grows from 12 to 15 pounds though the hen, or female, is much smaller, weighing from 8 to 10 pounds. Both have what is called a caruncle – a fleshy, bulbous growth- on the head. This is a breed distinctive trait. They are also quiet ducks – the male makes a low hissing sound, not a full quack, and the females makes a short, weak quack called a pip, which sounds like a flute.

Muscovies are excellent fliers and like perching in trees, aided by sharp claws on their webbed feet. And they like to eat mosquitoes, spiders, slugs and bugs of all kinds, which makes them an ideal addition to a poultry barnyard.

Sometimes called Barbarie or Barbary duck, the Muscovy duck is thin-skinned, low in fat, and has deep red, mildly gamy meat which is sometimes compared to roast beef for its flavor, and veal for its tenderness. There’s also much more of it. The carcass of a Muscovy duck is heavier than most other domestic ducks, and has a larger breast that its Pekin counterpart, with up to 40% less fat than that breed. And while it may appear to cost more per pound than other ducks, Muscovy duck has a higher meat to bone ratio, which means you are getting more meat and less bone for the money!

And being so lean, the meat renders out less fat in cooking. Muscovy ducks have less fat and less calories per pound than turkey. All of this contributes to a flavorful and healthy eating experience. Europeans have been enjoying the Muscovy duck meat for a long time, and the popularity of this duck is growing in the United States.

D’Artagnan’s Muscovy ducks are raised without any growth hormones, steroids or antibiotics on a farm in California’s sunny, dry San Joaquin Valley by a producer that has been breeding ducks for more than 35 years. The ducks are fed a diet of corn, soy, wheat and alfalfa and are left to grow in open barns for up to ninety days, which means that they develop a meaty, full-flavored breast.

Recipe Suggestions:
Duck Civet
Double Duck Breast with Baked Figs and Duck Liver Toasts
Seared Muscovy Duck Breast with Marsala Orange Sauce with Red Currants
Smoked Muscovy Duck Breast, Tosaka Seaweed, Foie Gras Toast, Cherry Leaf Vinaigrette

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