The Land of Duck Necks and Honey
Well, in my research on how to skin a duck neck for stuffing, and my forays into duck neck gluttony and how to use a duck neck to take soup to another level of excellence, I should have gone down south, where the entire dish is done for you by the volailler! Kate, why didn't you tell me before?!
On Saturday morning, Kate Hill took her houseguests to her market in the town of Neyrac, where I found to my hearts content that the volailler had them ready for cooking. This was one thing I could not pass up, because when the artisans do poultry, people should listen. In Lyon, there are plenty of things to do with readily available chickens and rabbits and we do get the various typical duck parts, but if I want serious Southwest preparations at home like duck necks, I have to seek out the ingredients, roll up my sleeves, and get to work. I was really happy to see that the volailler had them ready and in their native habitat, because I can tell you now, preparing this dish takes planning when you're not in the land of duck necks and honey! I was curious too, I wanted to know what they tasted like, because as we all know, things are never better when produced and sold fresh in their local context by people who know and have lived the story of the Southwest.
There were cured duck parts on offer as well, which really made my day. I ended up picking up nearly a kilo of duck "craquelins", which are completely different from anything we get in Lyon, half of a duck chorizo, and several stuffed duck necks for good measure. These went directly into Kate's freezer and having been frozen solid, they traveled well during the 6 hour journey back to Lyon on Monday.
Fresh new garlic was ready for using - we won't see that in Lyon for a few weeks!
We had the duck necks for dinner last night. They were delicious.