The train I’m on now from Bordeaux to Toulouse was delayed for whatever reason. Had I been able to hear the announcement over the coughing, flat-topped seatmates of mine, perhaps I could have deciphered the reasoning in French. The only thing making this delay more manageable is the dog standing in the aisle looking longingly for his owner who just went to the bar car. That’s right--dogs are allowed on the trains in France. Pack your bags, Henri…we’re moving.
In the meantime, we sautéed diced red onions in butter with a bit of cinnamon. These were so good. They formed the base in our buttered casserole dish, and the duck legs were proudly perched atop. We deglazed the onion pan with a bit of vinegar (stand back, or you’ll get a horrific smelling facial), and added in two tablespoons of honey. This popped a bit at the beginning, so again, another time to be alert so you don‘t get burned. After the sauce reduced and thickened a bit into a carmelized mixture, we added in some chicken stock, dropped in the dates, and poured it over the casserole. We both agreed that had we added more chicken stock at the pan stage, the sauce would have been a bit better consistency and not have thickened up quite so much as we finished the dish in the oven. She prepared a bit of long-grain rice to accompany our chicken dish, however, potatoes or a root vegetable purée would have been nice too. The dish was finished with a sprinkling of toasted almonds, and although mostly comprised of sweet ingredients, was a perfect mélange of salty and sweet.
We washed this all down with a 2005 Bordeaux (excellent year for Bordeaux’s, by the way), and then headed out to the city of the same name to look around before my train departed on a schedule all its own. I guess traveling is a bit like cooking in that you have to be flexible because things don’t always go as planned. I’ll get to Toulouse a bit late tonight, but if I know my friend there, he’ll have sangria waiting for me at the train station (if he hasn‘t finished it all himself waiting).
Next Stop: Toulouse