French Duck Recipe
Eddy's Canard - Braised in Beer
This divine duck recipe features duck legs slowly cooked in beer and flavored with dried apricots and thyme. The result is a succulently rich dish with just the right amount of sauce for serving on top of rice.
This recipe was given to me by my son's professeur de guitare, who comes from the north of France, near the Belgian border. Actually what he gave me was a list of ingredients, which I think is a fairly typical way for recipes to be passed around in France. Included with the list of ingredients was a tasty introduction to beer from Belgium and Northern France.
Belgium (and the north of France) produces some of the best beer in the world and it is no wonder that it finds its way into popular dishes. For example, a well known beef and beer stew from France is Carbonnade Flammande.
For my first try at this duck recipe, I followed the professor's ingredient list and used Duvel, a fairly boisterous Belgian golden ale. The next time I used la Divine, a much calmer yet very tasty indeed French ale. I much preferred the recipe with La Divine - no bitter taste.
If you can't find this particular beer where you live, you will just have to experiment. Look for a strong beer (la Divine is at 8.5 percent alcohol) with a lot of enjoyable taste. Just like cooking with wine, you should always use something you like to drink on its own.
This duck recipe comes with a great sauce so be sure to serve it on top of either rice or potatoes, or at least with a good loaf of French bread. We like it on top of rice with a side of steamed cauliflower.