Recipe #9: Stuffed duck, baked cucumbers, and blackberry flan
This week’s recipe for the Pâté de Canard en Croûte covers 7 pages in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1. This is certainly not a record for a Julia Child recipe (French bread covers 22 pages) but, based on this alone, the recipe could be considered daunting to any cook. What are we saying? A recipe that requires deboning a duck, preparing stuffing, sewing the stuffing into the duck, making a pastry crust, wrapping the duck in the pastry, and then decorating it with pastry cut-outs, is daunting! However, Julia provides detailed written instructions and clear illustrations so that anyone will know exactly how to accomplish the simplest and most complicated dishes in her cookbooks. “You’ve got all the directions and if you can read, you can cook,” she wrote.
These are some of the trussing needles Julia kept in a drawer along with other small tools and gadgets. Although she used the “French needle and string system” for trussing poultry, she recognized there were many ways to tie a chicken together to prevent it from falling apart during cooking. She advised using any system that appealed, and if cooks didn’t have a proper trussing needle, they could use “a sailmaker’s needle, a mattress needle, or a knitting needle with a hole bored in one end.” From Julia Child’s Kitchen, pp. 219-20.
Kudos to this week’s contributors, project manager Ann Burrola and her friend Lucinda, who not only prepared Pâté de Canard en Croûte (Boned Stuffed Duck Baked in a Pastry Crust), but also made baked cucumbers AND blackberry flan.
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—Posted by the National Museum of American History