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Confit de Canard Blogging

At Confit de Canard Co UK we will update you with meanderings and pictures from time to time to keep you up to date on our French eating habits, new delights and all the regular eating anc cooking of Confit de canard, cassoulet, manchons & gesiers…

Can I eat my out of date duck confit?

keep duck fat in the fridge

It’s best to keep the confit in the tin… but once open keep the duck fat in the fridge

I have many enquiries about how long you can keep confit de canard – both in the tin and once it’s opened. This includes the fat, upon which we have opined in previous blog posts like “How long can I keep my confit de canard?”  Please see that article and some of the comments below about duck fat and freezing duck fat too…

And we have another one recently from Hilary to this effect “Hi, I have an unopened tin of confit de canard which is 9 mos out of date (I know) do you think it will still be ok to eat? Regards, Hilary”

Well Hilary, I’d go for it. If you don’t like the look after you open it then don’t – or even after you’ve cooked it, you can still bin it! If the tin has been sealed, it should be OK. Given that tinned confit de canard usually has a shelf life of 3-4 years, what’s 9 months?! Our current stock from this year is dated 2017 and 2018.

But I should stress (legal excuses) that it’s your call. Especially as you didn’t buy the duck from us…! (I know, I’ve checked all our orders back to the year dot – for Confit de Canard .co.uk) Obviously we’d hope that everyone buys all their tinned duck from us but I guess it’s possible that some people buy it elsewhere in the UK (for a lot more, I should add) or in France (also quite often but not always for more too).

Good Confit de Canard News: March 2014

Best Seller Confit de Canard Back In Stock

Our “house” brand of Duck Confit is back in stock after we sold out last month. Phew!

We now have ample stock for sale for several months. This duck will no doubt be sold and eaten this year but being an “ambient” product it’ll last in larders for years – literally. The use by date on our new Doyenné de Lanvaux “Cuisses de Canard Confites” is November 2017. So no rush then – unless we sell out again before we have a chance to get more from France.

The latest confit delivery (from the same source) is exactly the same as previously but it has a slightly new name “Domaine de Lanvaux” rather than Doyenné.  Doyenné means deanery (or a female dean), in the University sense –  but can also extend to prieuré; couvent; cloître; monastère; abbaye – that is priory, convent, cloister, monastery or abbey. The sense though can be extended in a less literal sense to mean “the most respected person in a field. So in that sense doyenne means master of…  I guess that Domaine then is more appropriate – meaning domain or estate, in my loose translation. Anyway the duck is french and tastes fabulaous as always.

NB We are nearly out of stock of our other Confit Cuisses brand “Succes Gourmand”. I wonder if they’ll be changing the name before we get the next batch in? If you want that brand then you need to hurry before we leave an “out of stock” gap which will be in about six tins! C’est la Vie… If it’s not one thing it’s the other. Never mind, I can bear a quixck trip to France again…

Is Duck Fat Good Fat?

Can I eat my confit out of date?

Duck Fat is Seen as Healthier than Butter, Pork or Beef Fat. And it’s Tasty…!

I’ve always said that duck fat is good for you. That’s a bit tongue in cheek (not duck tongues of which I’ve just seen a picture), because it’s not as healthy as fresh air or a tomato but for fat it is remarkably good. And as I said above, it tastes good and I might even go as far as saying it tastes the better than anything for frying, roasting, etc.

So why am I now saying that YES, it is a good fat. Of course there are arguments and apologists for just about everything but on the whole duck fat isn’t as bad as it looks or tastes. here are some of the reasons. If you’re unsatisfied with any of this, please do your own research…

    • It’s not processed. It’s from one place – ducks! Compared to all the modern “low fat” stuff it has the distinct benefit of being a one source, unadulterated natural product
    • It’s low in saturated fats. Duck fat is 62% un-saturated – that’s the good stuff from a  cholesterol point of view
    • It has some saturated fats but it’s lower considerably than butter
    • It has a surprisingly high level of a mono-unsaturated fat called oleic acid – whuich is what makes olive oil so popular and is often credited witgh being the secrte of the Mediterranean diet and it’s association with longevity. 40% of duck fat is oleic acid (vs olive oil’s 71%), so it’s not quite in that league
    • Chart nicked from “Best Health Mag”. Thanks…

      As you can see from this chart, it falls in the middle (though in fact some vegetable oils are even better than olive oil). NB Mono’s are best, I think, then un-saturated then saturated. If something is high in one it means it’s lower in the others!

    • This is by far from conclusive but I’ve just picked this up from another site (www.edinformatics.com) and it does beg a question or two…

      The French Paradox: In the United States, 315 of every 100,000 middle-aged men die of heart attacks each year. In France the rate is 145 per 100,000. However, In the Gascony region, where goose and duck liver form a staple of the diet, this rate is only 80 per 100,000… This phenomenon has recently gained international attention as the French Paradox –They eat more fat in Gascony than anyplace else, but they live the longest .

It should also be noted in duck  fat’s favour that it cooks ata high temperature and doesn’t burn like butter.

 

Getting a bit low in Confit de Canard stock in January 2014…

Confit de Canard Wins the Winter Warmer Accolade…

Well we had an amazing December and we’re having a fair old January… though it might have been better for two things: [1] We left the “closed for new year” heading upa bit too long which I’m sure put some people off and [2] selling out of several lines in our range.

We usually stock quite a few lines including two brands of straight confit de canard, some manchons de canard (confits), gesiers and cassoulets – usually in different sizes. At the moment we’re all sold out in all of the cassoulets which are obviously very popular in the winter for their stew/casserole style thickness and flavours. We’re also down to just four tins of our own exclusive confit de canard (Doyenné de Lanvaux) which has sold very well in 2013. That’s one van load!

Buying Confit de Canard 2014

So it looks like another duck confit road trip is in the planning – when I can find the time with all the other things going on with a new year in progress. But have no fear duck fans, we [a] have confit in stock (Succes Gourmand – great value and definitely a first choice for quality) and we have manchons and gesiers and some very interesting Saute de Canard a L’Armagnac which is a great winter warmer too ~ duck manchons in the Armagnac sauce (including Armagnac, white wine, cream and seasoning)with carrots and potatoes. Worth a try if you like the stew style.

Please write ot us if you want us to source any other duck related products. We don’t do fresh (per se) but we love the stuff out of tins and have a beef (if you pardon the phrase) with the precious folk who consider confit de canard anything other than the finest of food.As you can read in many posts and mutterings on this site, we will argue till the cows come home about this… (Another beef/cow reference ~ how those animals get into our language!)

What is it with Confit de Canard & Chefs!?

Surely making good meals & profits are key…?

I have had another mini-round of discussions with another business who insists that my Confit de Canard (Duck Confit) is not for them because they prefer to make fresh. Why? Surely the objective of a pub or restaurant (what’s the difference these days?) is to serve good food and to make a profit. So why go through the agony of making Confit de Canard and then serve it “fresh”?  The whole point is that it’s preserved, ready to re-heat when you need it.

Why not concentrate on the deliciousness that’s already built into preserved duck (which is what Confit de Canard is, after-all) and make a delicious potato dish (say Sarladaise) and maybe a sauce (I made an apple sauce last week which was fabulous and balanced the savoury duck flavours to a treat*), serve a  delicious meal and enjoy the margins…

If I were in charge of a restaurant, I’d love my chef to have something special in the larder at about £3 a person at cost price, that I could serve as a featured dish or a “special” and sell for £ high teens or over £20. The chef’s labour plus the cost price of fresh duck and enough fat to make it, must outweigh the cost of a tin many times, surely? Given that the sell by date is two or three years away, it’s ideal. Put Confit de Canard on the menu, have lots of very happy customers and if the chef wants to be a star make delicious potatoes (with the duck fat from the tin) and sauces. If you sell less than multiples of four (i.e. per tin) add the spares to the specials board the next day (one, two or three only).

What possesses a proprietor to allow a chef to make their own unless they’re very so very fancy (and selling it for £30 or £40) or he can definitely make it better than the preserved duck – which is unusual. They use ham don’t they and that’s preserved – not fresh.

OK rant over…

* I must take a picture and write down the recipe for our recipe pages – in the meantime it was apple slices, orange juice (just to cover bottom of pan, golden syrup and I used Goji berries (mainly for a colour highlight). heat until the apples caramelise and serve. (About 10-15 minutes on medium heat.)

Apologies for lack of duck confit tins images…

… Problems fixed, now. Sorry for the nuisance.

I’m sorry that any visitors to Confit de Canard UK recently will not have seen the images for our tins of confit duck (etc) have been missing. It must have been very annoying to read the description and not to have seen the picture… just a silly glonk saying it was missing. And to be honest I’m amazed that the faithful ordered any duck “blind”.

We had a problem with our server – I’m told – but before that it was supposed to be something else with a new version of the software. Anyway, now it’s fixed; and of course now it’s fixed it was apparently a much easier solution. (Which makes it even more annoying.) But you don’t want to know all that, I just wanted to say sorry if anyone came and went because of the lack of pictures.

Now of course in the things we’ve just had the storm and our power was off. But deliveries have not been affected so all’s well on that front.

Succes Gourmand  Confit de Canard, back on the site

Meanwhile, we’re restored the Succes brand to the site for sale, which is generally more popular due to it’s remarkable price. Now we’ll see with both this and the premiere brand there, which goes faster…

Still the best value Confit de Canard in the UK

Just checking and we have the best prices in the UK still. Occassioanlly you see something on EBay but they usually don’t have much and not for long… and even so we still have the best prices. It’s always good to know that you can beat all-comers for price…

And lastly… I mistyped duck earlier as dcuk… echoes of fcuk… does that make us more edgy?

Duck Confit Updates…

“Ailerons”

Confit de Canard Manchons With Onions: Fry

Frying Confit de Canard Manchons With Onions

For some reason I wrote down ailerons on a piece of paper, whilst on my travels in France last year and now, looking at the piece of paper I want to know why. It must have had something to do with ducks and possible wings* (manchons)… maybe it’s another word for manchons. After all ducks do fly which is why their wings are so uch more signififcant than chickens!  *It is French for “little wings”, after all….

PS I’ve just searched for ailerons de confit de canard and Manchons come up in the results so maybe the big search monster knows something I don’t (or didn’t – becasue I know now).

Duck Season

I’ve written a little in the past about the fattening of ducks (fat ducks) ready for their demise and re-configuration into tasty morcels for humans to eat. That of course means that most outfits in france produce their wares when the ducks are ready which is the end of the autumn (am I right?). Does that mean that there’s a shortage or pucity of duck products or only fresh ones? Of course tinned duck lasts for not only months but years. When we buy confit de canard, it usually has about 4 years on the tin.

The Price of Confit de Canard

For quite a while we’ve had our new duck on the website for sale at £14.95 which is very resonable considering everything.  But we’re not selling much at the moment. Now is that seasonal (people tend to eat duck confit in the UK immediately after their summer holidays and through the autumn and into winter. Sales tend to fall off in the spring and early summer. (I love it all year round but I guess it’s more suitable to a colder day…)

But I have been wondering two things… [1] is the lower price tin on the site – shown but not available – making the higher priced item seem less attractive so [2] should I remove the lower priced duck from view while it’s out of stock? And [3] thirdly, is the price right in the first place?

Any comments?

 

 

Tinned Duck vs Canned Duck

A piece of duck pedantry…

For some reason the other day I started to worry about whether Confit de Canard UK sold tinned confit duck or canned confit duck – as well as other duck-based products… so of course being a natural pedant (or should that be etymology enthusiast?), I started to research. Other people have asked the question out there on the so-called interweb…

One answer says that canned is more  American English, whilst British English speakers use either – which is of no help really… Someone suggested tins might be square, like corned beef tins. (Those comments were the result of someone studying soldiers’ rations where both words were used but seemingly indiscriminately. Someone else had just posted a picture of a gorilla which was what happens in forum debates (when at least they don’t descend into abuse).

In another source, canning was said to be the process of preserving (which of course is what “confit” is) whereby any bacteria is killed by the heating before it’s canned and then sealed, bacteria free. Confit de Canard is of course double safe as the fat keeps bacteria out even out of the tin.

Meanwhile, I’m finding out that canning was invented by the French. Ta da!. At the end of the 18th century, the French military put up a prize to develop a way of preserving food without risk of spoiling (or use of preservatives per se). Nicholas Appert suggested canning and won the 12,000 francs prize – though glass jars were used initially as the process is the same. It was tested in 1806 and the prize was awarded in 1809/10. (All very Napoleaonic… Don’t mention Waterloo…  And by the way, the process got patented in England!)  The glass didn’t travel well so tins were used quite soon after – ie wrought tin canisters. Tin is a non-corrosive coating for steel. The word canister got shortened to “can”. So in that sense the words are entirely transposable.

Of course like most early processes it was difficult, slow and expensive.  At some time in the 19th Century, having canned food became quite a luxury and the upper classes thought it was jolly grand. Later there were many improvements like double sealing and much better sanitary conditions which led to the cans being labelled “sanitary cans” at one point.

We really ought to be celebrating the tin can’s double centenary, shouldn’t we…

(As a post script, is it worth mentioning that the biggest tinned food scandal in the 1850’s involved disreputable Romanian producers using all sorts of anonymous and undesirable meat… Plus ça change…)

 

Sold Out of Foie Gras…

Update Autumn 2013. Foie Gras IN Stock (October 2013)

realising that this might be read as the latest news – which of course it isn’t – I just wanted to update this “news” post to say that we do have foie gras in stock… but hurry as it sells quite quickly and we only ever buy a limited stock. Great value… don’t miss it.

Please note that we have sold out of our limited stock of Duck Foie Gras… (April 2013)

Is this the best value foie gras in the uK ever...?

Is this the best value foie gras in the UK ever…?

Back in December we bought a trial of some well-priced foie gras to see if we sold it or not.  And at the time, I wondered if we’d sell any at all ~ bearing in mind that we are easily found for duck confit but not for duck foie gras. However having said that we’ve sold out and in fact we’ve just had to disappoint the last customer who ordered more than we had left.Sales are now suspended…

So is it back to France again to stick up on more foie gras. Will sod’s law mean that we then don’t sell that, once we have it in stock!

The price at £8.45 for 200 gr. is excellent and I don’t think you’ll find any better in the UK on or offline… I’ve just done a quick survey and I can’t find anything even close to the price. Why would you buy any elsewhere…?

And all those who’ve had a taste have enjoyed it to the utmost. Quite lovely buttery & rich.

New Duck Confit in Stock…

Confit de Canard UK gets new supplier & new supply…

Aha… or ooh la la as they say in Brittany, we’ve just been over the channel to collect our first tranche of tins of duck from the producers of fine duck that we have been talking to for some time. The trip was cold and the heating in the van packed up for a while, until I thought that we should put some water into the radiator, but our road trip joviality waas not dented. Nor were our tins, taken from the loading bay, all boxed up and labelled for us. We loaded them next to the giant refrigerated lorries (they supply masses of fresh duck too) so we felt a bit small, but we got away and got back to the UK with our stock intact…

Available very soon… as soon as I take a photo of the tin with our label on it…

We’re going to stick a pretty label on the tin, next to the makers, which is a bit basic. Then snap, a photo and biff-boff-bash, stick it on the website and then it’s up for grabs. Premium confit de canard, at a sale price yet to be finalised but I think about £14.95…