Saturday, December 27, 2008

And We Ate

Christmas day at our house was very quiet, just Ken and me and Callie. We didn't have to rush anything since there were no guests to prepare for and we had worked on as much ahead-of-time preparation as we could.

First course: foie gras de canard with fig jam.

Ken had mixed up the cornbread and sausage stuffing the day before and put it into the fridge so the flavors could blend. I made up the crêpes that would go into our dessert: crêpes Suzette. They went into the fridge as well.

Wine from Monbazillac accompanied the duck liver.

We also had a box of dried figs that had been sitting in the fridge for I won't tell you how long. Ken re-hydrated them by soaking them in leftover tea. Then he chopped them up and compoted them with some sugar, red wine, and port. He added a small amount of plum jam that had crystallized in the bottom of its jar, and an apple.

Main course: chapon, stuffing, green beans, and gravy.

So, on Thursday, all we had to do was to cook the chapon (capon), bake the stuffing, and make dessert.

Ken poached the chapon in broth with aromatic vegetables, then finished it in a hot oven to brown. The stuffing cooked in the oven while the bird poached. We cooked up some green beans from the garden that had been blanched and frozen last summer.

Orange liqueur and clémentines are the beginning of crêpes Suzette.

Our first course was foie gras de canard (fattened duck liver), a traditional thing to eat during the holidays. We ate it on slices of toasted pain de campagne with the fig jam on the side. With it, we drank a sweet wine from the southwest near Bergerac called Monbazillac.

Then it was on to the main course. Ken cut the breast off the bird and served it with the stuffing and a white gravy he made with the pan drippings and the poaching broth. We also ate the beans with that. We drank our local Touraine gamay red.

Orange butter, crêpes, and cognac/Triple Sec at the ready.

After a brief pause, it was on to dessert. Earlier in the day I made an orange butter for the crêpes Suzette. It's made with orange zest and juice, sugar, butter, and orange liqueur. I used clémentines instead of oranges and Triple Sec instead of Grand Marnier, because, well, that's what we had in the house.

The butter gets put in the pan and cooked until it becomes a syrupy sauce. Then each crêpe is coated with sauce and folded up in the pan. Finally, some cognac and Triple Sec are added and the dish is flambéed.

A serving of crêpes Suzette. Yum!

It was very rich, very orangy, and very tasty. Boy, were we full at the end of the day. I walked a little of it off with the dog. Later, we settled on the couch in front of the fire and watched some t.v. until bed time.

Now it's time to attack the leftovers!


  1. That sure beats the midwest bland usual things we had !

  2. I'm sitting in a puddle of my own drool looking at those crepes.

  3. ur-spo, we likes to eat good.

    evol, the next time you're in France...

  4. Well, it just all looks so wonderful! The tree is great, the food is so enticing, and there's Walt in his Christmas red shirt! It's so much fun reading you everyday. Love the Paris flower shop photo, too!

  5. judy, thanks! Happy new year!

  6. Awesome. It all looks splendid and I bet it tasted even better.

  7. Got crepes? Want crepes!
    Thanks for the XMas cheer and appreciate what you did!

  8. susan, right on both counts! Happy new year!

    cheryl, the next time you visit... ;)

  9. My boulanger made fig bread this year! Fantastic with foie gras!


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