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Posts tagged ‘d’artagnan recipes’

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 the Berkshire Pig

The Berkshire is one of the oldest identifiable breeds of pig, which dates back some 300 years to the shire of Berks in England. Legend has it that Oliver Cromwell’s army discovered the breed while in winter quarters, and a welcome find that must have been! This black-coated hog with white areas on the face, legs and tail, is known for its juicy, tender, and flavorful meat which is heavily marbled with fat.

The Berkshire breed became well-known and wide-spread in England, and was even raised by the Royal Family at Windsor Castle in the 1800s. As a gift from the Royal Family, Berkshire hogs were introduced to Japan, where they have been in high esteem ever since. The Berkshire pig is sometimes known as kurobuta, which is Japanese for black pork.

Berkshire Pork Chops with Apples & Onions by Chef Barbara Lynch

First introduced to the United States in the early 1800s, the Berkshire breed offered improvement to the general hog population when crossed with that stock. The fear that the breed would be completely diluted led breeders to start the American Berkshire Association in 1875, the first swine group and registry in the world. The founding of the ABA was met with enthusiasm by the breeders in the U.S. and in England, and it was agreed that only hogs from English herds, or hogs that could be traced back to them would be registered. The first boar to be recorded in the registry was Ace of Spades, bred by Queen Victoria herself. Today, many of our Berkshire breed pigs are descended from these original registered animals.

In 1876, the first US Berkshire Breed Publication read: “The Berkshire meat is better marbled than that of any other breed of swine. That is it has a greater proportion of lean freely intermixed with small, fine streaks of fat making the hams, loins, and shoulders sweet, tender, and juicy. This renders the whole carcass not only the more palatable to persons in general, but are unquestionably the most healthy food. Considering theses facts, the Berkshire, above all others, should be the favorite swine among United States. We ought to take all possible pains in breeding Berkshires in such a manner as to enhance this superior quality.”

Lard and Lean 

Lard used to be in every kitchen, used as cooking oil, in pasty, to bind meat pies, and even had industrial applications. But after World War II, in a new era of convenience and better living through science, cheaper vegetable oils were introduced and replaced lard for the most part. The lard type pigs that farmers raised to keep up with the demand were now considered useless, and instead pigs were selected and bred for lean meat. Berkshire hogs began to fall out of fashion. By the 1980s, industrial farming had become the norm, and Berkshire pigs were of no interest to such farmers, with their slower growing time and abundant fat. But the ABA never wavered, and just kept on breeding and registering the heritage hogs in small numbers. The Japanese also maintained the purity of the breed, and valued the tasty, succulent meat, placing a huge premium on kurobuta pork.

That's a lot of tasty parts!

Thanks to an increased interest in heritage breeds and traditional foods among the culinary cognoscenti, there are more farmers raising them for the market, even crossing the hardy stock with other heritage breeds. As industrial farms crowd out the small farmers, many of them are turning to heritage breeds like the Berkshire pig, and raising them in the old ways, in small scale operations.Chefs across the country will gladly pay more for quality Berkshire pork, raised naturally, on pasture, and farmers are meeting the demand.

Chef Alexander Bernard's Balsamic Glazed Berkshire Tenderloin

Farming Cooperatives 

D’Artagnan sources all heritage and Berkshire pork from a cooperative in Missouri, at the foot of the Ozark Mountains. A group of about a dozen family farmers raise Berkshire and cross breeds (referred to as simply “heritage”) on pasture, with access to individual houses, water and supplemental grain feed. Families of pigs are left together, to forage and frolic outdoors in pastureland. The cooperative is strict about banning the use of antibiotics and hormones on each farm, and about limiting the number of hogs the farms raise. They seek to add another farmer to the cooperative before they add more pigs to any one farm. They are paid a premium for their humanely-raised pork, making the small farm a profitable business, and proving that there might be a future in the old breeds after all.

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS:
Pork Chops Milanese
Coffee Rubbed Pork Chops
Braised Berkshire Pork Butt and Beluga Lentils
Bone-in Pork Butt with Green Apple and Crushed Hot Red Pepper

On the menu: Easter mains & sides!

So yesterday, we gave you some ideas and recipes for Easter appetizers. (Mmmmm… black truffle gougeres!) Today, we’re all about classic main dishes and comforting, family-friendly sides. We broke our suggestions down into two menus that can also be mixed and matched, if you desire.

Our first menu features Lamb as the centerpiece. Our boneless lamb loin is super easy to prepare and no matter how you cook it, turns out tender and juicy. Tangy spring leeks make the perfect foil to a sweet, truffle honey vinaigrette. We paired the lamb with potatoes roasted in duck fat (our secret weapon!) and rounded out the meal with smoky maitake mushrooms and a crisp bibb lettuce salad.

lamb loin with leeks, duck fat potatoes, bibb salad with radish, maitake mushrooms

Menu #1

Lamb Loin with Leeks and Truffle Honey Vinaigrette

Potatoes Crisped in Duck Fat

Pan Roasted Hen-of-the-Woods Mushrooms

Spring Salad with Peas, Radishes and Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Our second menu shines the light on a perennial Easter favorite, our Applewood Smoked Heritage Hams. We did the work for you – our hand-crafted hams are fully-cooked and need little adornment. We just brushed on a simple glaze made with apricot preserves, mustard and bourbon and heated through. Dried morels give decadent pommes dauphinois an earthy edge, while citrusy green beans and duck fat biscuits finish the table.

glazed ham, duck fat biscuits, citrus tarragon green beans, yukon gold morel mushroom gratin

 Menu #2

Apricot-Bourbon Glazed Applewood Smoked Heritage Ham

Yukon Gold Potato Gratin with Morels

Green Beans with Tarragon and Citrus Butter

Duck Fat Biscuits

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Come back for tomorrow’s post! It’s all about the perfect wines to pair with your Easter feast, with suggestions and tasting notes from one of America’s Top Sommeliers, Anani Lawson of per se in New York City. This is one you do not want to miss.

Easter Appetizers D’Artagnan Style

Still planning your Easter feast? We’re here to help!

This year, we’ve put together a sample menu of fabulous spring recipes for your Easter table. Today’s post puts the spotlight on appetizers.

First up, our Black Truffle Butter Gougeres.

Light-as-air puffs with a moist interior, these truffle-flecked gougeres will disappear fast – so make a bunch!  We adapted this tried-and-true recipe from Daniel Boulud’s cookbook, Cocktails & Amuses-Bouches for Him & Her.

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Teeny deviled quail eggs are not only delicious but a great conversation starter. Here are three crowd-pleasing variations that start with the same basic ingredients and technique then veer off in completely different directions – trust us, there’s one for every taste!

Deviled Quail Eggs with Bacon & Thyme

These little beauties have a satisfying smoky bite from the addition of our Uncured Hickory Smoked Bacon. Fresh thyme balances the richness.

Deviled Quail Eggs with Porcini & Parmesan

Don’t let their size fool you – these mini eggs are umami-bombs. Our Porcini Powder lends an earthy richness while the soft bed of microplaned parmesan gives them a stable resting spot and another layer of flavor.

Deviled Quail Eggs with D’Artagnan Caviar

A swirl of creme fraiche makes these deviled eggs silky smooth, but the real star of this dish is our exclusive Caviar D’Aquitaine.

An Easter meal just isn’t complete without some early spring vegetables. Adapted from one of our favorite Martha Stewart recipes,  this easy-to-make Asparagus Tart with Jambon de Bayonne is piled high with ribbons of tender-crisp asparagus and topped with a sprinkling of salty Gruyere. Our version has a hidden layer of Bayonne Ham that puts it over the edge. Delicious!

Are you hungry yet?!

We’re not finished! Tomorrow we’ll cover classic Easter main courses and comforting side dishes. On Friday, we’ll tie it all together with some convivial wine pairings from one of America’s top sommeliers!

Stay tuned!

恭喜发财! Happy Chinese New Year!

Today marks the first day of the year of the water dragon, one of the most revered years of the Chinese calendar. It’s sure to bring good fortune and excitement! Food (and food symbolism) will play a big part in the next few weeks of celebrations. Here are some dishes for good luck in the coming year.

Anita Lo's Pekin Duck with Hoisin and Figs

In Chinese culture, duck symbolizes luck and fidelity. Here’s a fantastic recipe from one of our favorite chefs, Anita Lo. Her Breast of Duck with Hoisin and Figs mixes classic, Chinese flavors with a whimsical presentation. Or try this recipe for Roasted Pekin Duck with Shallot Confit, Asparagus, Shitake and Lily Bulb Stir Fry by Mercer Kitchen’s Chris Beischer. Cambridge, Massachusetts chef, Jason Bond puts a smoky twist on a classic roast duck with his Holiday Hu-Kwa Duck which is cured with salt and smoked Hu-Kwa tea before being roasted and basted in it’s own juices.

Blue Ribbon Restaurant's Duck with Orange-Cassis Sauce

Fresh oranges symbolize wealth and unity. This easy recipe for Pekin Duck with Orange Cassis Sauce is warming and rich, perfect for winter. And if you ask us, you can’t go wrong with a classic Duck a l’Orange.

Eat stir-fried greens for wealth since the Cantonese word for lettuce sounds like “growing fortune.” Marcus Samuelsson’s Greens combine winter kale with sweet, baby bok choy and Asian flavors like soy sauce, mirin, ginger and lemongrass. Delicious!

Fried Dumplings also symbolize wealth with their golden color and ingot shape. For a decadent French spin, try these Deep Fried Dumplings with Foie Gras and Chicken Livers.

The golden color of fried spring rolls equals good fortune. Try our recipe for Duck Confit Spring Rolls with Cashews and Sweet Potatoes. (a double whammy of golden deliciousness!)

Red is a lucky color during Chinese New Year and red-cooked chicken is a classic “lucky” dish, symbolizing happiness and good fortune. Mark Bittman’s version of  Soy Poached Chicken is delicious and easy to make at home. Or try this sophisticated Twice Cooked Chicken with Shiitake Mushrooms, Ginger Garlic Relish and Star Anise Broth from Highlands chef, Chris Rendell.

Whichever dishes you indulge in, we wish you prosperity, good health and lots of luck in the new year! And as our Chinese friends say, 吉慶有餘! (May your happiness be without limit!)

Our New Year’s Eve Party Tips

At a good New Year’s Eve Party, the star is the champagne. When planning the menu for your party, consider flavors that pair will with bubbly. So that you can be a guest at your own party, select dishes that require little work, can be made ahead of time, and will taste delicious at room temperature; not having to keep foods hot or cold is one less thing to worry about. Serving finger food is a win-win! It means fewer dishes at the end of the party, and it also keeps guests’ hands free, allowing them more freedom to mingle and munch their way through the evening.

For an elegant affair with your foodie friends, try the following ideas:


Getting the Party Started

To get the party going with a little fun and whimsy, serve popcorn drizzled with melted truffle butter and sprinkled with a fine grating of good parmesan.
Also, ease your guests into the party with an inviting charcuterie platter. Include a variety of offerings such as peppery Dry-Cured Saucisson Sec or Wild Boar Saucisson Sec and Jambon de Bayonne (French Prosciutto). Pâté is always welcome on a charcuterie platter. If you can’t decide which one to serve, try The French Pâté Collection, which allows you to sample three different kinds. Include water crackers or thin bread sticks with your charcuterie platter.

Leading Up to the Countdown
Serve an understated beef carpaccio. (Freeze a beef tenderloin until firm. Slice as thinly as possible. You might even gently flatten the slices with a meat mallet to ensure ultimate thinness. Arrange the slices of meat beautifully on a plate. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with big grains of salt and black pepper.)

For a spin on a classic party appetizer, try Duck and Scallop Rumaki.

Make D’Artagnan’s Mousse of Foie Gras with Candied Hazelnuts, and the foie gras and hazelnuts will both sing in harmony with champagne.

For a savory bite, serve canapés with mushrooms – tiny toasts topped with creamy goat cheese and wild mushrooms sautéed with garlic, shallots, and a splash of sherry or Madeira.

Just after Midnight
After the clock strikes midnight and your guests have celebrated with a toast and a New Year’s kiss, continue the party by bringing out a platter of French Kisses, prunes marinated in French Brandy and stuffed with foie gras mousse.

Late into the Night
For a sweet ending to the party, you can’t get much easier than strawberries with mascarpone and chocolate. (Slice strawberries in half, leaving the tops on for garnish. Pipe a little mascarpone cheese on the cut side of each berry and top with shaved chocolate.)

Quick Tip

With your perfect over-the-top menu all set, you might not know how to respond if a guest asks what they can bring to the party. Remember that you can never have too much champagne. Also, a lovely wedge of soft, rind-ripened cheese will complement the charcuterie platter perfectly.

Christmas Cookies D’Artagnan Style! Duck Fat Biscochitos

Duck fat is not only an indispensable cooking fat, it’s also excellent for baking. It can be substituted 1:1 for lard in any old fashioned recipe, you just need to keep it well-chilled while you work with it. Duck fat adds depth of flavor to baked goods, makes an especially tender pie crust, lofty Viennoiseries, and flaky cookies. Ariane’s father, Andre Daguin, made duck fat pepper biscuits in his chef days. He served them with chilled marinated peaches, the recipe of which is in his 1981 cookbook, Le Nouveau Cuisinier Gascon.

A holiday staple in the American Southwest, biscochitos are cookies made from lard and flavored with anise seed and orange zest. Since anise and orange are also common flavors in Southwest France, we thought we’d put our own spin on biscochitos by making them with duck fat. The cookies are delicious and quickly becoming a holiday favorite around the office. Give them a try!

Recipe after the jump…

Read more

D’Artagnan for dessert: Black Truffle Ice Cream with Truffle Honey Florentines

It’s no secret, we love to eat. And while 99% of the time you’ll find us posting about our various, in-office meaty adventures, we also make time to enjoy the sweeter treats in life. So last week, when there was a rogue truffle floating around the D’Artagnan kitchen, we put it to good use by mixing up a batch of Black Truffle Ice Cream.

While sweet fungus-studded ice cream may sound strange to some – it was absolutely delicious. The earthy truffle aroma was subtle and nicely balanced by bourbon vanilla. We started with the best vanilla ice cream recipe we know of, David Lebovitz‘s version from his brilliant book, The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments. (If you have an ice cream maker and don’t have this book – run, run, run out and get it – it’s the only one you’ll ever need!) David’s recipe starts with a traditional French custard, to which we added a couple of extra yolks. (You could actually substitute duck eggs for an even richer custard – next time!) We added a splash of the aperitif, Lacheze Liqueur a la Truffe, a holiday gift from Chef David Malbequi. We crowned the finished glace with crisp, truffle honey Florentine cookies which we adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies book. Very, very good and super easy. Recipe is after the jump… Read more

D’Artagnan Thanksgiving Survival Guide: Day 15

We love turkey. We also love chicken. And, naturally, our love for all things duck is hardly in question. If you love these beautiful, bountiful birds as much as we do, why not have all three at once? That’s right, we’re talking about turducken, that gorgeous – and some say egregious – Cajun concoction made from a stuffed, deboned chicken inside a stuffed, deboned duck inside a stuffed, mostly deboned turkey (the wings and legs stay on the outside of the third bird, for presentation’s sake), roasted in toto, like a loaf. When properly prepared, cooked and carved, you get three delicious birds, three stuffings, no bones, all together in a single slice on your plate, smothered in spicy gravy. Magical.

 All About Turducken

Today, turducken has become a Thanksgiving treat for many Americans, and more than a handful of hungry foreigners, and most people who know a thing or two about food recognize what you’re talking about when you mention the beloved turducken. This, however, was not always the case. Stories of the tri-bird roast’s origins vary, though everyone will concede that it was invented by Cajun folk in south Louisiana. The most popular theory is that the dish was invented at Hebert’s Specialty Meats in Maurice, Louisiana around 1985, when a local farmer brought in three birds and asked the butchers there to go ahead and debone them and stuff, stuff, stuff. But the big turn of the tide in turducken popularity surely came about in 1997 because of sports commentator John Madden, of all people, who was given the roast by the kind folks at the Gourmet Butcher Block in Gretna, Louisiana. His love for the dish was so deep that Madden wound up on air talking more about the turducken than about the football game. And, since American football fans are known to have a deep appreciation for all things meaty, the turducken’s star began its steep ascent.

No, John Madden did not invent the turducken. Nor did Hebert’s in Maurice, not really. The idea of stuffing one animal into another and roasting them all together has been around as far back as ancient Rome. During the middle ages, overeager lords would have their royal kitchen staff shove as many beasts inside each other as they could, for the sheer entertainment value of it all. In his 1807 Almanach des Gourmands, gastronomist Grimod de La Reynière documented his rôti sans pareil (“roast without equal”), a bustard stuffed with a turkey, a goose, apheasant, a chicken, a duck, a guinea fowl, a teal, a woodcock, a partridge, a plover, alapwing, a quail, a thrush, a lark, an ortolan, and a garden warbler. The turducken seems positively humble in comparison. Over the centuries, these kinds of dishes became known as “Russian doll roasts,” after the famous Matryoshka nesting dolls.

Looking to make your own turducken? A wise choice, if not an easy one. You can easily find three excellent birds here at D’Artagnan, as well as the sausage you’ll need for the spicy, meat-filled stuffing (the other two usually being cornbread and an oyster dressing), although deboning three birds in a manner that makes them easy enough to stuff with stuffing and then into each other requires some serious knife and poultry mastery. We recommend taking your birds to a professional for this task, as did that unknown farmer in Maurice all those years ago. Feel free to play around with your ingredients: try using bacon in the stuffing, experimenting with different types of sausages, or employing flecks of shaved truffles for a real gourmet kick. And, if that doesn’t satisfy your ambitions, you can always buy a small pig and create what’s known as the fowl de cochon, which is, you guessed it: a turducken stuffed into a deboned swine, which will feed about thirty people. Now that, friends, is some delicious ambition.

No-Fail Thanksgiving Side! Garlicky Truffle Mashed Potatoes

Here’s a super easy recipe to add to your holiday repertoire – Garlicky Truffle Butter Mashed Potatoes. Last week we gave you the recipe for garlic confit, an indispensable French pantry staple, and talked about the importance of truffle butter. Now we’re bringing it all together in an easy yet impressive recipe. If you’re feeling “extra rich,” as Ariane likes to say, add a flurry of paper thin slices of fresh white truffle upon serving, and watch your guests’ jaws drop.

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