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Posts tagged ‘ariane’

A Kinder, Gentler Way to Raise Chickens?

The New York Times recently reported that Perdue is making changes in how they raise chickens. They will overhaul animal welfare practices, making their plants more humane to give the birds better lives. It’s good to see one of the largest chicken producers in the nation talking about changes, however small they may be.

At D’Artagnan we have been advocates of humane animal husbandry for over 30 years. We have always supported and partnered with small farms that actually raise animals the most humane way, without antibiotics or added hormones, and at a slower pace.  We’ve been doing this since day one. In fact, our organic chicken was the first on the market – before the USDA had clear protocols in place for organic labeling.

Check out Eater’s article and interview with Ariane on this subject, excerpted below.

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK…

  • How do you feel about Perdue’s announcement?
  • Do you think that real change can come from the massive factory farms?

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Eater Chickens Perdue Article

Ariane Daguin, CEO and founder of D’Artagnan (an organic meat purveyor), says the labels slapped on meat have become diluted over time, largely due to the influence of the meat lobby. “Big factory farmers that say they produce organic chicken today often simply buy ‘organic’ grain from China — which isn’t even organic by U.S. standards. They can also tout that chickens have access to the outside —  but it’s usually one little door for 100,000 chickens.”

Daguin says the labels are confusing for consumers and “infuriating” for a company like D’Artagnan, which sells organic products at a higher price point than companies like Perdue. Though D’Artagnan and Perdue products might have similar labels, Daguin says her company holds its processes to a higher standard. “When people read the word ‘organic,’ the perception is that it’s a small family farm and the growers respect the animals,” she says. “I wish I could put, ‘more organic than the other guy’ on my product. Labels don’t necessarily mean the same thing for me and for Mr. Perdue, I guess.”

 

What is Foie Gras Terrine?

Like many other recipes, the foie gras terrine is named for the vessel in which it is cooked.  Other examples include the iconic cassoulet, named after the cassole (a tapered clay pot) it is cooked in. And the word casserole is from the French for sauce pan, in which a casserole is assembled and cooked.

Much the same, a foie gras terrine is cooked in a terrine mold, usually a porcelain one with a tightly-fitted lid. A whole, raw foie gras  is packed into a terrine mold and cooked at low temperature in a water bath with only a few ingredients: salt, pepper and Sauternes wine.  The foie gras is actually steamed in its own juices under the terrine lid.

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A classic Revol terrine.

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D’Artagnan’s signature Terrine of Foie Gras.

A tip: nestle the terrine on a folded dish towel in the pan of hot water, so the towel holds the terrine still. After the terrine is fully cooked, the excess fat (foie gras butter – freeze it for later!) is drained off and set aside. This can be poured back on top of the preparation to protect it as it rests in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days while the flavor develops. If you want to try your hand at this classic preparation of foie gras, follow Ariane’s recipe. And to see how it’s made, watch our video of Ariane and Chef Wylie Dufresne preparing foie gras terrine and torchon together.

Foie gras terrine

Foie gras terrine

Eating Foie Gras Terrine

In Gascony, the capital of foie gras in France, the terrine of foie gras is traditionally served cold, still in the terrine mold with serving spoons and a bowl of hot water. The spoons are dipped into the hot water, to cleanly slice through the rich foie gras, which is usually spread in a slice of bread. In the United States, foie gras terrine is more commonly served thinly sliced, on elegant toast points or flaky pastry shells.

A foie gras terrine can be unmolded gently onto a clean cutting board. Run warm water over the outside of the terrine dish to loosen it slightly. For slicing, use a knife that has been dipped in hot water to make clean, perfect slices every time. Remember that foie gras is delicate, so it’s best to handle it with care. Thin slices can be fanned out on a platter for serving.

Serve terrine chilled with slices of crusty peasant breast, toasted brioche, cranberry walnut loaf, and any jam or fruit compote to complement the creamy, fatty flavor. Drink a glass of Sauternes or late-harvest Jurançon, both sweet wines from the Southwest of France.

It’s International Women’s Day

And we are celebrating the day! As you may know, D’Artagnan is founded and owned by a woman, the inimitable Ariane Daguin.

ariane with mallards

Ariane was born into a world of great food. Her father, Chef André Daguin, is famous throughout France for his artistry with foie gras and other Gascon specialties. Ariane was expert at deboning ducks, rendering duck fat, preparing terrines and cooking game birds by the time she was ten.

Ariane and Dad with Geese

A teenage Ariane with her father Chef Andre Daguin in Gascony

A career in food might have seemed natural, but there was no place for a woman in the strict culinary hierarchy in France. Instead, Ariane decided to pursue an academic degree at Columbia University. While working part-time for a New York pâté producer, Ariane was in the right place when the opportunity to market the first domestically produced foie gras presented itself. She and a co-worker pooled their financial resources to launch D’Artagnan in 1985 as the first purveyor of game and foie gras in the U.S. She hasn’t looked back.

Devoted advocates for natural, sustainable and humane production, Ariane and D’Artagnan have been at the forefront of the organic movement in America, pioneering organic, free-range chicken (years before the FDA allowed the word “organic” on the label), and humanely-raised veal. She continues to find ways to bring innovative products to the market, all while staying true to her mission.

Ariane has always been an advocate of women in the kitchen, having broken the stainless steel ceiling herself. And she is quick to mentor and support women in every walk of life. Here are a few photos from the archives of Ariane with some pretty incredible women.

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We celebrate the accomplishments of women everywhere today – and every day.

 

 

Watch Mike Rowe Tonight!

Ariane will be on Mike Rowe’s excellent new show Somebody’s Gotta Do It tonight on CNN at 9 PM EST. Watch a little preview of what happens down on the chicken farm. And tune in for the full episode tonight!

Ariane & Mike Rowe

To get your own taste of the featured Green Circle Chicken, skip on over to our website.

And, yes, Mike is as nice as he appears to be on screen – he is a genuine guy with a big heart. Ariane had a wonderful day shooting this episode with him.

 

Interview with Ariane in The Village Voice

Ariane talked to Laura Shunk at The Village Voice recently. Here’s the story of the early days at D’Artagnan and the philosophy behind what we do. Get the low-down on organic chicken, heritage-breed pork and the state of  meat in general.

So go ahead, take a peek inside Ariane’s head in this interview.

Village Voice Screen Shot

 

Ariane Debunks the Foie Gras Myths

Ariane has been preaching the gospel of foie gras since the earliest days of D’Artagnan. She started the company to sell the first fresh foie gras raised in the United States. Today she is the leading expert on the subject.

Erin Mosbaugh at the blog First We Feast interviewed her on the controversial topic, visited Hudson Valley Foie Gras, our partner farm, and came away with a better understanding of foie gras.

We share their post and hope that you will share it in turn. Foie gras is a topic that excites a lot of passion on both sides. We only ask that people consider all the facts before drawing conclusions about foie gras. Lucky for those who want to do that, First We Feast does a fine job of explaining and debunking the common myths.

Ariane First We Feast Foie Gras Screen Shot

For those who want to learn more about foie gras, try the Artisan Farmers Alliance. And if you want to order some foie gras, we have plenty available on our website, along with recipes to inspire. (Yes, we can ship foie gras to citizens of California. The prohibition on foie gras applies only to sales and production in the state.)

foie gras recipes panel

How Your Goose Gets Cooked

The tradition of a roasted goose on the holiday table goes way, way back. The people of ancient Greece and Rome may have been celebrating different festivals, but they did so with the very same bird we do. From medieval days right through to the Victorian depiction in Charles Dickens, the goose has remained the ubiquitous holiday bird in all of Europe.

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The reason is the natural rhythm of its lifespan; a goose is at its fattest (think tastiest) after it feeds on late harvest grains to  bulk up for the cold months. And that falls right in step with the autumnal and winter holidays.

If you’ve decided you want to be a part of this long tradition, but have never prepared a goose before, there are a few things you should know. Of course, roasting a big bird like a turkey or a duck is much the same process. One thing you will notice is an astonishing amount of fat renders out of a goose.

There’s no reason to get nervous about your goose, just be prepared. Check out  the tips on our website here and here.

And watch Ariane talking goose in the Le Creuset Film Series below.

We have several goose recipes, including this Alsatian one which involves foie gras and chestnuts (lovely for the holidays). One of the nice things about the dark meat of a goose is how it well pairs with fruits, such as the pears in this recipe.

Ariane’s favorite version is the gala goose here, a recipe in which the goose is first poached and then roasted, which tenderizes the meat, renders out the fat and allows the skin to crisp.  Though it’s an involved process, this really is the right way to cook your goose. And you get the benefit of all that lovely fat rendered cleanly out; it’s perfect for the potatoes or other vegetables you serve alongside the main attraction.

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Saveur and The World of Duck

The December issue of Saveur magazine has a cover story about our favorite bird: duck.  Yes, it mentions us,  but that’s not why we think it’s a great piece. Our friend Hank Shaw is also quoted, which is appropriate. His new book “Duck, Duck, Goose” is our favorite book of the season. It’s got all you could possibly need to know about ducks and geese, along with some fine recipes.

You can read the entire fantastic article  on the Saveur site, after which we wager you’ll be inspired to cook some duck for dinner.

It’s really quite easy, as this Saveur video with Ariane proves. Her seared duck magret is a tradition handed down by her father, Chef Andre Daguin, who invented the preparation. Read, watch and then get in the kitchen and make duck!

saveur cover

We love these illustrations Saveur did of our products. This is a really useful breakdown of all the parts of the duck. Everything but the quack.

saveur the elements of duck

How to Make Chabrot

A  message from Ariane …

Faire chabrot… it’s a rustic tradition from rural France that continues to this day in the Southwest, my region.  It’s an expression of conviviality and continuity, of simple pleasures at the table. So what is chabrot?

It’s a fun way to finish a bowl of soup. When in Gascony, it is often garbure, an improvised soup that varies by season and from one house to the next, though usually includes cabbage and confit of duck or goose. Some people keep a permanent pot of soup bubbling, and add vegetables and meat to it each day. A good broth is a staple in the day of many rural people.

For chabrot (pronounced shab-row), just enjoy your soup and then leave a bit of the warm broth in the bowl.  Naturally, you have red wine on the table, so pour in a dose of wine, I would say about half the amount of the broth, but you can do equal parts if you like.

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The ritual unfolds.

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Soup, a hunk of bread and wine. All a man needs.

There is no stirring and no spoon! Hold your bowl in two hands, swirl gently, and with elbows planted on the table, drink the wine and broth mixture.

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Optional: elbows off the table. (Note the game bird hanging behind!)

This is chabrot. Considered very old school and a peculiar habit of rural people, and in some company bad manners (!), it’s a tradition that l love to share with others.

There is something about the warm broth and the wine together… and the whole table lifting bowls to their faces. It always stirs something in me. Perhaps it is the thought of a long line of ancestors who tipped their bowls through the generations.  Or maybe it’s just the unique flavor of the raw wine and the broth together.

D'Artagnan the Rotisserie

Here, we chabrot at D’Artagnan: The Rotisserie, our now-closed restaurant in NYC. On the left is Georgette Farkas, the owner of the new Rotisserie Georgette.

You can see how it’s done in this video I made with Ed Brown. We were in the kitchen making poule au pot and I couldn’t resist the chance to show him.

So now that you know, go ahead and faire chabrot!

Ariane Talks Turkey on TV

Ariane appeared on ABC 7 Eyewitness News yesterday to share her tips for making the perfect turkey this Thanksgiving.  If you missed it, you can watch the video  and get Ariane’s recipes here. For more turkey recipes, go to our website.

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Ariane preps for the cameras.

Ariane brought three different types of turkeys — wild, heritage and organic — to the studio. Each offers something different for your Thanksgiving feast. Learn more about our birds here.

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Michelle Charlesworth asks Ariane about the different turkeys available at dartagnan.com.

With a whole Thanksgiving meal (and wine!) set up in the studio, no one went hungry.

Ariane on Eyewitness News

Ariane force feeds the team. L-R Amy Freeze, Ariane, Michelle Charlesworth, Alisha from D’Artagnan and Phil Lipof.