Yesterday, I got a surprise in the form of a Fedex box from Hudson Valley Foie Gras. Inside were a couple of samples of Rillete de canard that I'd -in a very small way- helped develop and two small and very beautiful dressed ducks. I'll post on the ducks after I cook them. In the meantime here is a press-release kind of thing that tells the story of the ducks. -Bob dG
Oh, My Lola
This new duck has its chefs in a row
If it walks like a duck and tastes like a squab, then it's probably a Lola duck.
This new heritage breed of bird--created by Hudson Valley Foie Gras--is a cross between the white Pekin and the mallard. Unlike most ducks, which have a generous layer of fat under the skin, the Lola is lean but full of gamey flavors typically found only in wild birds.
And it's destined for the oven. At his new Great Neck, New York, restaurant (also called Lola), Hudson Valley Foie Gras co-founder Michael Ginor confits the duck legs, then glazes the rest of the bird with yuzu marmalade and roasts it.
At Chicago's Lockwood, chef Phillip Foss serves a modernist Lola duck a l'orange (pictured) as a frequent special. To preserve the natural flavor of the duck, he augments the rich caramelized-orange sauce with duck stock. Even the accompanying beans pick up the bird's flavor thanks to being tossed in rendered duck fat.
In New York, Corton chef Paul Liebrandt seasons the skin of the Lola duck with toasted sesame seeds and spicy Kashmiri pepper, then caramelizes the breast on a hot plancha, serving it with honey-and-turnip gelée.
Chef Richard Garcia of Tastings in Foxboro, Mass., uses the whole bird. He serves his Lola schniztel with duck cracklings and consommé made from the duck's bones. But the most popular item on the menu is duck "ham," breast meat that Garcia smokes over fruitwood and serves hot on a charcuterie platter.