Parmentier au Confit de Canard
The French parmentier is the closest thing they do to a cottage pie. This one is a luxury version made with Confit de Canard, which is now readily available in the UK.
4 confit duck legs, 650g starchy potatoes, 500g ready to eat chestnuts (in a jar or sachet), 200ml milk, 50g butter, 60g hazelnuts, 2 onions, 4 shallots, 2 cloves garlic, a sprig of thyme, salt and pepper.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into pieces; heat a pan of salted water and cook the potatoes with the peeled garlic cloves, the sprig of thyme and one chopped onion. When the potatoes are tender, add the chestnuts and continue to cook for 10-12 minutes. Drain and take out the thyme, and mash the rest. Add the butter and milk to obtain a smoother, but still firm texture. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
Toast the hazelnuts in a hot oven for 5 minutes, allow to cool and chop coarsely. Take off any fat of the duck leg and remove the skin. Shred the meat with a fork. Chop the shallots and remaining onion, sauté until transparent on a low flame, adding a bit of the duck fat. Add the duck meat and fry stirring all the time until the meat is browned and crispy in parts. Remove from heat and add the hazelnuts.
Spread half the mash into the bottom of a gratin dish, followed by the meat and top with the rest of the mash. Put into a hot oven for a few minutes to heat it through. Serve with a mixed salad.
Illustrations by Alice Ray