One chef, one ingredient: duck by Laurent Delarbre
Laurent Delarbre, chef at La Tour d'Argent in Paris, delights in duck.
Laurent Delarbre: I chose duck because it's been a signature dish at La Tour d'Argent for decades and I wanted to pay tribute to this wonderful meat. Our supplier, Les Établissements Burgaud in Challans, supplies us with very high-quality free range ducks raised on organic feed.
Your most cherished duck-cooking memory?
LD: Working at La Tour d'Argent involves preparing duck in several different ways: pressed duck, duckling in orange and pepper sauce, but also with seasonal produce: with honey, figs, citrus fruits...which allows for different ways of expressing my creativity with this high-quality produce.
When is duck in season?
LD: There's no season for duck. You can eat it all year round. The only thing that changes in our kitchens according to the season is how it is served and prepared and its accompaniment.
What's the best way to cook it?
LD: What I still consider the most exceptional way of cooking it is pressed duck, in a sauce of its own blood and bone marrow [extracted using a press], which they've been serving at La Tour d'Argent since 1890, but it's obviously not an easy recipe.
What other foods can you cook duck with for a unique flavor?
LD: Pressed duck is a classic, it never goes out of fashion, but for those who've never tasted it, it's very surprising.
What are the most common mistakes people make cooking duck?
LD: The cooking time is critical if you want to preserve the flavor and fragrance of the meat.
What kind of wine goes best with duck?
LD: A 1990 Chambertin Grand Cru from the Domaine Rousseau for its grandeur, depth, elegance and complexity.