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Kitchen at Camont

47310 Sainte-Colombe-en-Bruilhois, France
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A mid-winter's dream feast Sainte Colombe En Bruilhois  France

A mid-winter's dream feast

One reads about meals fit for kings, but during a stay at Kitchen-at-Camont I had a hand in preparing one. We shared the results of our labor among students, teacher, visitor and friend. We got out the good silver and set the table in the glow of the fireplace.

We started with oysters. Not just any oysters, but Vert de Marennes from north of Bordeaux. They were a taste of the sea, gloriously briny and fresh and bright. We made a mignonnette sauce — finely minced shallots and red wine vinegar.

Next we passed the terrine de foie gras. We bought two ducks at the market, butchered them and cooked the livers mi cuit (slowly at a low temperature) in terrines, then covered them with duck fat and let rest a few days. Melting, smooth, creamy goodness. I happily took seconds .

Our main course was civet de canard, which we’d prepared a day or so before. We’d boiled and flamed a red wine, then braised duck magret (breast), legs, and thighs with the wine and duck-fat sauteed veggies. The result was a mahogany-hued sauce that imbued the tender duck with a deep, rich flavor. We served it atop polenta and with a side of duck-fat roasted parnsips and apples. I’ll never overlook parsnips again.

For dessert was gateau de chocolat, a nearly flourless chocolate cake, with caramelized pineapple. I felt like the stuffed duck at the end of his two weeks of force feeding but it was glorious.