Sunday, 21 December 2014

Often when you least expect it, too!

Honey Duck

Carole's Chatter: Honey Duck

I used a new technique to cook this Honey Duck – well at least it was new to me.  I had 2 duck breasts (skin on).

The day before I prepared the duck by pricking the skin all over with a sharp wooden skewer and then pouring boiling water over the skin side – you can see the skin tightening up in response.

After draining and drying the duck I then painted a thick paste of honey onto it and left it covered in the fridge to rest overnight.

I roasted this duck in a hot oven until the juices ran clear and the skin was nice and crispy.

I served the duck with a sauce made from honey, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, cayenne pepper and lemon sauce.  And rice of course.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Sadly, I think this is true...

Dordogne

Carole's Chatter: Dordogne Valley France

Dordogne is hard to say ( try Door-doh-nyeh – I have heard people say it as Dor-doin) but is a fascinating region of South West France.  It is part of what is known as the Aquitaine – famous for Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Carole's Chatter: Dordogne Valley France


The Dordogne is also the name of a river which runs through the area.  The area is known for its produce such as truffles, walnuts, Foie Gras (controversial elsewhere), Strawberries and, of course, wine.  Less than half a million people live in the Dordogne – which is a delight for a visitor because it isn't really crowded even in the height of summer.



The Dordogne is dotted with little towns – many of them Bastides – fortified towns mostly built on hills and in a square.  The largest town in the Dordogne is Perigueux.

Carole's Chatter: Dordogne Valley France


There are also more than 1500 chateaux in the Dordogne – making the area the second most 'chateaued' after the Loire Valley.



When driving around the Dordogne we were struck by the abundance of large and small roundabouts – the French use roundabouts in almost every imaginable circumstance.



While you see roundabouts almost all over France, in the Dordogne you notice lots of signs to towns all called Lieu-Dit something.  I did a bit of research and found that it is like calling a town – a place said to be X – and this is because the places are so small that they are not even big enough to be called villages.


Le Roque Gageac is a very picturesque village on the banks of the Dordogne.  The day we visited though it was unpleasantly over-run with traffic and we didn't actually stop.

Carole's Chatter: Dordogne Valley France

I'll finish this ramble about the Dordogne with showing you a pic of a bridge over the river Dordogne in a place called Castillon-la-Bataille – the town is notable for having been the site of the last battle in the Hundred Years War (1453).