Dry-Cured Duck Sausage

Saucisson de Canard

[Dry-Cured Duck Sausage]

We had long wanted to try Le Petit Canard, a small restaurant tucked away in a side street of the 9th arrondissement, just a few blocks from us. I had often walked past it on my way up and down the hill, and it looked cosy and warm, with just a handful of candle-lit tables. As the name implies, the menu focuses on all things duck, and I have a weakness for monomaniac restaurants.

We finally made it there last week with our neighbors and my two oldest girlfriends. For starters, we decided to share a selection of duck charcuterie: smoked magret, duck rillettes (a pâté of shredded meat), two kinds of duck terrines (one with port and green peppercorns, one with chesnuts), and slices of duck saucisson, a dry-cured sausage that’s classically made with just pork meat.

All the products served at this restaurant come from a small farm in Haute-Savoie, a region in the French Alps. This came as something of a quirky suprise, because Haute-Savoie isn’t typically renowned for its duck breeding — the bulk of French duck products comes from the South-West. The owner confirmed that this farm, operated by his brother-in-law in a village called Balaison, is the only such farm in the area, but that the ducks fare very well in the cool mountain air. They enjoy the ski slopes, too.

And indeed, everything we tasted on that platter was excellent. But what we enjoyed the most was the duck saucisson: made with 95% duck meat and 5% pork meat (duck meat alone wouldn’t bind well enough), it was moist yet lean-tasting, and wonderfully seasoned, with rich and complex flavors, smoky and peppery.

The rest of the meal was good though not stellar — the roasted magret and duck tartare were quite tasty, but the canard à l’orange was oversalted and the confit a tad dry — and as the dessert plates were cleared, our thoughts returned to the saucisson (apparently, we have no problem discussing charcuterie right after finishing a tarte tatin). Did they sell it to go?, we inquired. They did, I happily bought one*, and it’s been a much appreciated apéritif companion since then.

This post is my contribution to Kate’s and Judy’s Some Pig Blogging Weekend, a celebration of all things charcuterie in honor of San Antonio Abate, the patron saint of farmyard animals.

Le Petit Canard
19 rue Henri-Monnier in the 9th.
01 49 70 07 95
*The saucisson costs 7€ for 300g, about 10 oz.

  • When is a pig not a pig? When it is a duck, of course! I often think of our fine feathered friends as pigs on webbed feet, beak-to-tail feathers, the whole canard! Thanks for joining in farmyard fun. We’ll be posting on Tuesday with Sant’Antonio’s blessing.

  • sha

    i imagine the duck enjoying the ski slopes!

  • sam

    what would I give to receive one of those in the mail? Err, my left arm perhaps. We are rather obsessed with saucisson sec in the Becks & Posh household, with me being particularly crazy about our little feathered friends. And we are now insanely jealous of you.
    signing off in green ink,

    Sam & Fred

  • Kate – Well, I figured it was “some pig” weekend, and since that saucisson does have “some pig” in it — 5% to be exact — I hoped it would qualify! :)

  • rainey

    Mmmmmmm! That duck saucisson looks fabulous but, like sha, I’m utterly distracted by the thought of ducks on skis. ;>

  • Meg

    Duck tartare? That’s the bit that has me scratching my head. Clotilde, did they really serve raw poultry? Is that safe??

    Love the idea of the sausage, though. I would think duck makes very nice sausages in general with all that flavor and fat!

  • Mmmm !!!!! le saucisson de canard c’est trés bon :) I love this food

  • anne

    I am pretty sure eating raw duck is not safe, given the avian flu etc. Chances are very good that nothing will happen to you at all, you will be fine but I think we should really stay away from raw poultry, even French poultry. If this thing becomes airborne, even the exquisite French ducks can get it. But for now, everyone will love your duck restaurant experience.


  • Frankenstein

    Must visit next time I’m in Paris. In fact, next time I’m in Europe, I might have to schedule a stopover in Paris just to drop in…

  • Your papounet

    I’ll say, live fast, die young, and if you see anything coming that looks dangerous, duck !

  • anne

    Die young? That is an awful wish, isn’t it?
    How did it occur to you to say something so nasty?


  • Mmm…looks tasty. You describe it as “smoky and peppery.” By the way it looks, it seems it could be related to Italy’s sopressata, this saucisson, of course, being made with duck, though.

    Love your blog!

  • Zan

    Oh my god tht looks good!

    I love duck. Tasty, tasty duck.


  • hmmm

    I have a feeling that Anneliese, Annastacia and Anne are actually the same person making negative comments on Clothilde’s blog.

    That “nasty comment” was actually a joke made by her father. Please chill out.

  • Mike, I agree: it does look quite a bit like Sopressata – mouthwateringly so :)
    Now I must begin my online search for the elusive saucisson de canard… or at least, elusive in the San Francisco bay area.

  • g58

    Don’t underestimate the Savoie! The ducks are likely flocking to the Alps because of the local wine, aromatic and delicious. Idylle Cruet is great name to hold onto. And for refreshing Chardonnay well worth looking into (not that I would serve it with saucission) you need only travel down the road a bit to Côtes du Jura for the Rolet Père et Fils. Check it out!

  • Raw poultry may, indeed, be deadly avian flu aside, but I don’t think Duck Tartare quite constitues raw poultry. Marination, seasoning, herbs all have an effect on limiting the growth of pathogens.

    I think we are all too likely to forget that humankind has thrived on these sorts of food for centuries. There are reasons for acid levels in classical dishes, for combinations of ingredients. Mass food processing has done more to make us all succeptible to disease than anything else.

    Live “dangerously” within your comfort level–eat the Saucisson (also basically raw meat) eat the tartare, eat raw egg–but know where it comes from, how it is prepared and how healthy you are. Knowledge, they say, is power and these days, most diners are powerless.

    Great post! Love the photo.

  • Just found your blog! I write about food as well. My husband and I went to Le Petit Canard on a recent trip to Paris and LOVED it! It was one of the better meals we had in Paris actually, not to mention that they had us at all things duck!

  • cheftaba

    that’s just a rebel without a cause quote of sorts, lighten up anne.

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