Another reason I love Gascony: Grattons de Canard

(If you are reading this post on an RSS reader, you might want to click through to Chez Pim for the slideshow.)
Grattons de Canard. Quite possibly the most perfect food. Period.

What is it, you asked? Grattons is normally made of pork fat. Grattons de Canard -or Fritons as they say in Lyon, apparently- is made of, yes, duck. In fact, it’s made of duck fat and skin whose fat has been rendered in the process of making confit. The partially rendered skin and fat solids are then ground up and formed into a terrine.

Grattons are fully cooked, so they can be eaten cold like a normal terrine. But as we discovered at Camont, searing a thick slice of Grattons
on a hot pan -not to cook but to give it a brown, crisp crust on both
sides- produced a wonderfully delicious result. I had a piece for
lunch, served with a big pile of Savoy Cabbage, simply sauté in -what
else- duck fat, seasoned with salt, pepper, and a small handful of
fried lardon.

As I said, quite possibly the world’s most perfect food.

Anyone makes me a terrine of Grattons in America, I’ll love them for ever.

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17 Responses to “Another reason I love Gascony: Grattons de Canard

  • faustianbargain said:
    March 8th, 2007 at 11:09pm

    grattons is normally pork crackling and fritons(southish in france) is duck/goose cracklings.
    reminds me something a french chef made for me as a snack…its just something he’d do out of the leftovers…i dont think chefs are supposed to eat real food…first thing they teach you in chef school..yes, this is all true..they are only supposed to keep snacking, but are allowed to swallow gallons of really bad black coffee a between one gets crunchy perks like this quick bite…anyways, here goes..take a piece of bread..cut it into nice thick batons. fry it in duck fat…make a bed of sauteed minced shallots on a strip of bacon and place the crispy crouton in the middle. wrap the bacon strip around it and let the bacon sizzle on a hot pan until done. crunch away. i am thinking you’ll like this one..

  • Thierry said:
    March 9th, 2007 at 4:05am

    We should never look at your blog at lunchtime ! Giving so much appetite.

  • Derrick Schneider said:
    March 9th, 2007 at 8:30am

    Hmm, it shouldn’t be that hard to make. Maybe next time I get legs from Sonoma Foie Gras, I’ll try it (Hudson Valley legs don’t have enough fat to trim and render).

  • David said:
    March 9th, 2007 at 8:51am

    possibly herbs, wine, a little duck leg meat to help it bind a little…?

  • Lucy Vanel said:
    March 9th, 2007 at 11:16am

    They are also very good in Chinese dumplings.

  • Paul Ting said:
    March 9th, 2007 at 8:27pm

    What is the difference between a Gratton and a Rillette???

  • rob said:
    March 9th, 2007 at 9:28pm

    Pim, that looks and sounds unbelievable — duck fat and skin! I went googling for a recipe and had almost no luck. It did seem to me that grattons normally include duck organ meat and that they can also be made with pork. I found one thread which made me laugh out loud because it was so wonderfully French: one person suggests a recipe, and the next person says, “Non! That’s not how we do it in Lyon.” Then the next person says the lyonnais recipe is wrong because “that’s not how it’s done in Bordeaux.” If you do find an actual recipe, please post it. I’d love to make this.

  • Monika Korngut said:
    March 12th, 2007 at 6:32am

    Its very delicious. Mmmmmm good.

  • Robert said:
    March 12th, 2007 at 7:12am

    Great pictures on your site…what kind of camera do you use?

  • katrina said:
    March 14th, 2007 at 5:26pm

    im selling my right kidney right now to fly pronto to france to partake of this delectable pate.

  • Dennis said:
    March 15th, 2007 at 8:24am

    Pim – Not sure if you have the time to respond, but I read an article in yesterday’s LA Times regarding the Alain Passard dinner at Manresa last weekend. How was it? Some of the dishes looked amazing especially the abalone with a “broken” egg and 12 vegetables.

  • Robert-Gilles Martineau said:
    March 20th, 2007 at 6:06pm

    Dear Pim!
    Well, I discovered a new way of sampling grattons! Thanks, and that’s from a Frenchman!
    The only excuse I have is that I’m from Bourgogne and live in Japan!
    Great pics! You are going to hear about me again!
    Cheers and take good care!

  • Richard said:
    June 18th, 2007 at 6:18am

    I just stumbled accross this thread and I’m drooling. In the Gers in Gascony, a center of duck production, every market sells fritons, even the “Supermarche.” They are loose bits of crackling – not made into a pate like the grattons. They are completely addictive. I will be back there in a month and will help assure that the fritons do not go uneaten. I will also look for the grattons, which have been overlooked until now.

  • Craig said:
    March 30th, 2010 at 4:52pm

    Just made confit of six duck legs, and you basically get the grattons for free if you start by reducing the skin you’ve saved off all the carcasses in the food processor. (Julia Child, in Mastering the Art vol. 2, discusses the process with goose, and she calls them grattons, not fritons, for what it’s worth). I just strained the cooking fat, cooked the grattons a bit more to drive any water off, and put them in a jar and topped with duck fat. I am told they are to be spread on toast. I really like the terrine idea, though…I may have to look into that.

  • 7 meadow close Ringwood said:
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:55am

    I make grattons de canard all the time I use French ducks and it is simoly delicious Regads Murray Podro U K.

  • Hedy said:
    June 7th, 2012 at 8:17am

    Hmmmmm! Delicious!

  • Francophile said:
    October 22nd, 2013 at 1:32pm

    Just opened a can given to me by a friend who was just in Bordeaux. Eaten right out of the can, it was just “meh”. I will try it fried now.

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