Duck hearts

This is not for the squeamish or the offal sensitive, but we discovered this delicacy in South West of France in our epic in August and we were quite amazed. Ed ordered a gourmet menu in a typical ‘auberge’ in Les Landes and the first dish in the feast was duck hearts. It sounds a bit barbaric, I know, but we do eat foie gras, magret, gizzards, liver pates, so hearts shouldn’t be overlooked. In my opinion, once an animal is killed, we might as well use it all.

They were cooked very simply – which is what I like about Les Landes and Basque cooking: doing justice to a quality product by treating it soberly – on skewers alternated with chunks of onion. They were surprisingly tender, juicy and delicate and complex in taste. 

A few days later,  we found some more in a the meat section in a supermarket in the French Basque country and barbecued them the same way with fresh onion and a drop of olive oil, and I still think it’s a great way to appreciate them. I’d like to try and stew them, in a Bourguignon sauce, to see what happens to their flavour and texture.

I realise they’re not the easiest offal to find but in a good farmer’s market, you can sometimes order them from one week to the other.


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