The South West of France is famous for its cuisine and fine dining. This region is the home of hearty food, meats, sausages, duck confit,cassouletand, of course, foie gras – Not a good place for vegetarians! Believe it or not, people here claim that this cuisine is very healthy. What is certain is that this part of France lives for its food, for its pleasure, and for the joy of sharing in it with friends and family.
The most common side dishes for these meals are white beans, mushrooms or potatoes fried in duck fat. Hence comes the recipe of the “Sarladaises Potatoes”, originally from the town of Sarlat in the Perigord, the common side dish for the duck confit is potatoes fried then slowly cooked in duck fat, served with garlic and parsley. The duck confit in its grease requires a long preparation with many different steps, so people usually buy it already cocked in a can, and you can use the fat from the tin for cooking the potatoes.
I like it because:
- It is very easy to do, and combined with duck confit it is a very filling meal, ideal in winter.
- Bake the duck confit while preparing everything else.
- You can use the duck fat from the confit’s can. For this just put the can a few minutes in a bowl filled with hot water, and then it’s easy to separate the duck confit from the fat. You can eventually stock the fat you don’t use in the fridge during several weeks so that you can repeat the recipe for another meal (sausage, ham, beef …)
- You can leave on the skin of the organic potatoes, just make sure they have been cleaned well. I like them better this way because they have more flavour, and apparently the most nutritious part of the potato is near the skin.
- Once the potatoes are peeled and cut, clean in a large container filled with water to remove the starch and to prevent them sticking during cooking.
- Use a very large pot for the potatoes so that they are browned uniformly.
Duck confit with sarladaise potatoes
- 4 duck thighs confit
- 35 oz (1 kg) potatoes
- 2/3 US cup (120g) duck fat
- Salt, fresh grounded pepper, cilantro and any other seasoning you would normally use.
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 bunch parsley
- Heat the oven to 392ºF (200ºC) when you start to cook. When hot, grill the duck confit 20 minutes on a grill with a dish underneath it so that you can catch all the fat.
- Peel the potatoes if you want and cut into strips 1/2 inch wide, more or less. If the potatoes are very large, then first cut vertically into two pieces for easier handling in the pot. Rinse the potatoes in a large bowl of water to remove the starch, and dry them well in a clean dish towel.
- Heat half of the duck fat over high heat in a large pot.
- When the fat begins to bubble, put the potatoes into the pot and cook over high heat for 20 minutes or so, until golden.
- Reduce the heat to low and incorporate the rest of the fat, pepper, salt, …, mix well and cover. Let simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, chop the parsley and garlic. Turn off the heat when the potatoes are soft.
- Add the parsley and garlic at the end of cooking and mix well.
- Its better to eat the potatoes when they are hot.