This wonderful recipe was created at the
beginning of the 19th century by a restaurateur
from Rouen named Mèchenet. This recipe for
pressed duck owed much of its success to the
Duke of Chartres, who commended it highly in
Paris. When the renowned cook Frèdèric took
over the restaurant La Tour d' Argent, he began
numbering all the pressed ducks that he served,
intending to make the dish the specialty of his
restaurant. By the end of 1996, a million had
been served; #328 was served to Edward Vll,
the Prince of Wales. In 1890, #33,642 was
provided for Theodore Roosevelt and #253,652
for Charlie Chaplin.
Recipe for Pressed Duck
You will see this recipe is pretty minimal and
you may need to read between the lines a little.
We are presenting it with the thought that anyone
adventurous enough to attempt such a thing will
already be an accomplished cook.
Besides, it is fun to make, although we prefer our already dead!
Pressed duck is mostly prepared in front of the customer.
The duck, or other game bird is killed by strangulation so
as not to lose any blood) and the feathers are plucked
right away. The animal is used within the next 24 hours
since bacteria will form quickly in the blood and meat.
The bird is then lightly roasted to rare and carried to
the table where thin slices are cut from the breasts.
The breast slices are then placed
in a dish of well-reduced red wine standing
on a hotplate. The rest of the duck except for the
legs, which are served grilled, is pressed in a
special screw press. The juice obtained is
flavoured with Cognac, thickened with butter
and poured over the aiguillettes, (the slices
of breast) which finish cooking in the sauce.
(FROM: LAROUSSE GASTRONOMIQUE)