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Duck Tour d'Argent

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Probably the most spectacular classical French recipe, le canard la presse, here made at La Tour d'Argent, a Paris restaurant open since the 16h century.

Canard  la presse Tour d'Argent

You can't really do this at home. But the canard la rouennaise or duck in blood sauce is an antique, spectacular, barbaric and sophisticated recipe you need to see at least once in your life.

I present it here because to me it's the most spectacular recipe of the classical French repertoire. The reason you can't do it at home is the Presse Canard, a duck crusher that you would pay thousands of dollars if only you could find one for sale.

I've seen only 4 presses canard in my life. One is in the Le Divellec, a Paris fish restaurant where President Mitterand was a regular. They use it to make a lobster sauce very similar to the one described below. The second Presse Canard is in the most distinguished restaurant in Switzerland, Philippe Rochat in Crissier. The matre d' Mr Villeneuve explained me that the press was Mr Rochat's birthday present from the staff. They never use it. It costs several thousand Euros and came from France. The third and fourth presses canard were both at the Tour d'Argent, the oldest restaurant in France and one that gives the most lasting impression. They have two sterling silver presses, one is in function and the other kept as a backup if the main press breaks. They send it to Christofle to fix it when it happens.

The recipe hereafter is the one served at La Tour d'Argent (The Silver Tower) for about a century now. They give you a certificate for every half duck, mine was already in the 7 figures. It is not a modern recipe, the blood taste is quite strong and frankly, is not the best way to serve duck. But how spectacular!

Roast a duck to medium rare. Remove the skin.

Duck Tour d'Argent Paris

Remove the magrets, put them aside and extract the liver.

Canard sauce au sang

The duck is liquified in a kitchen mixer, then put on a large metallic dish placed on a flame. The large surface will speed up the evaporation needed to concentrate the sauce.

Canard  la presse

The duck's carcass is put in the press and crushed until the juice from the organs runs into the dish. How bloody. They do this on a pedestal right in the restaurant. The maitre d' agreed that I would come up close and take these pictures for you. I guess he must be happy to hear some French spoken from time to time.


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