Pressed Duck is a duck dish.
In French, it is also known variously as: Caneton au sang, Canard à la presse, Caneton à la presse, and Caneton Tour d'Argent.
It consists of duck served in a sauce of duck blood.
A few restaurants in France are famous for it. One is La Couronne restaurant in Rouen, where they call it "Canard à la Rouennaise." Salvador Dali ordered it there several times.
The most publicized version perhaps is the version made at the "Tour d'Argent" restaurant in Paris.
For the dish, the "Tour d'Argent" has its own farm on which is raises its own ducks, of the Challans breed.
The duck is slaughtered by strangling, to preserve the blood in it, then plucked and cleaned of entrails (liver, heart and gizzards left in), and partially roasted.
The duck is then sent from the restaurant kitchen to a preparation table in the centre of the restaurant. The skin is discarded, and the breast, legs, and liver removed and set aside.
The liver is put into a blender to make a purée of it, which is then simmered a bit to reduce it, and set aside.
The remainder of the carcass, bones and all, are placed in a silver press, called a "duck press", or in French, "presse à canard." (A presse à canard is also used by the Le Divellec restaurant in Paris to crush lobster for sauce.) As the carcass is pressed, the blood and marrow juices flow out into a dish, in which they are then warmed. To this is then added other ingredients to make a sauce: cognac, madeira, and the puréed liver. The liver purée and the coagulating blood act as thickeners for the sauce. The sauce is very strong tasting, with a muddy-brown appearance.
Then the sauce is filtered, and simmered a bit over a flame to reduce it, and then poured over the breast meat and served.
Meanwhile the legs are sent to the kitchen, crisped, and then brought back out as a second course with french fries.
The Tour d'Argent restaurant has been open since 1582. Since it started serving Pressed Duck in the 1800s, it has a tradition of numbering each duck served. Duck number 380 was served in 189o to Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales. Number 938,451 was served to Mikhail Gorbachev. By 2008, the number of ducks served had surpassed 1.2 million.
Byrne, Kerry J. We dine at restaurant where Julia Child fell in love with French cuisine: Bon appetit!. Boston Herald. 5 August 2009.
Capella, Anthony. The best duck served in Paris? Food-lover Anthony Capella says there's no better canard than the dish served in La Tour d’Argent. London: Sunday Times. 31 August 2008.
Micheloud, François-Xavier. Duck Tour D'Argent. 21 September 2006. Retrieved March 2011 from
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