Duck Thighs Roasted in Olives and Tomatoes
At least once a year we head to the Jean Martin Boutique in Maussane-les-Alpilles for a cooking class. The Ateliers de Cusine are short workshop-style classes which last for two and a half (2 1/2) hours. The menus change roughly every two months, but the class format is always the same. The cooking starts at 10 am and by 12:30 pm you have three new recipes (three courses) and you’ve had lunch.
Chef Yvan Gilardi of Toquadom works closely with the Jean Martin company to develop recipes for their new products. He also develops the menus and runs the cooking classes. This recipe for Duck thighs with Olives and a Corn Pancake – Canard aux Olives et Galette de Mais – is simple to prepare using olives from Les Baux de Provence.
Duck Thighs in Olives and Tomatoes with Corn Pancakes
For the Duck:
- 12 Duck Thighs with skin deboned if possible
- 4 Shallots
- 6 Garlic Cloves
- olive oil for sautéing the shallots
- 3 tbsp Flour to thicken the sauce
- 2-3 tsp Dried Thyme
- 2-3 Bay Leaves
- 2 cans crushed tomatoes * see note
- 1 bunch Fresh Flat-leaf Parsley
- to taste Salt & Pepper
- 300 g (10 oz) Olives in brine ** see note
For the Corn Pancakes:
- 500 g (17 oz) Canned Corn
- 3 Eggs
- 50 g (1.5-2 oz) Flour
- to taste Salt & Pepper
- Peanut Oil for frying
- Peel and mince the shallots.
- Peel and crush the garlic cloves.
- Preheat your oven to 200C (400 F).
- Drain the olives and rinse with cold water. In a small pan with 2 cups of boiling water blanch the olives quickly then drain and strain with cold water. Set aside.
- In a heavy-bottomed pan that can go into the oven, heat some olive oil and add the chopped shallots and garlic. Cook the shallots until they become clear - do not allow them to brown.
- Add the duck thighs skin side down and fry until slightly golden, then flip and brown the other side. Remove from the pan until all of the thighs are done.
- Deglaze the pan with a bit of white (or rosé) wine and add the crushed tomatoes, thyme, and bay leaves.
- Arrange all of the duck thighs (skin side up) in the pan.
- Add the olives to the pan.
- Cook uncovered for at least an hour, or until the meat is very tender.
To Make the Corn Pancakes
- Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Heat the peanut (or vegetable oil) until hot in a frying pan.
- Add the mixture one large spoonful (about a 1/4 cup) at a time, and cook until brown on one side before flipping and cooking the other side. Note: depending on the size of your pan you may be able to cook 3-4 at a time.
- Remove from the pan and drain on paper towel.
- Keep the corn pancakes warm until you are ready to serve.
- Using plates with a bit of a raised rim, or shallow soup bowls put one corn pancake in each plate.
- Add a duck thigh and generous helping of the olive-tomato sauce.
- Add chopped flat-leaf parsley on the top and serve.
Yvan Gilardi has lived in Provence for over 20 years, but his grounding in French cuisine comes from the degree he earned at the École Hôtelière in Thonon-les-Bains, located in France’s Haute Savoie region. As a student of the intensive culinary program, he shared that his passion was for mastering pastry techniques. (Note: If you have the chance to try his food don’t skip dessert.) Read more about Chef Yvan Gilardi’s background and his services here.
It has been 100-years since Jean Martin founded his company in the village of Maussane. In 1920, this town on the southern flank of the Alpilles range had a population of just over 1200 people. When M. Martin senior launched his business of preserving and selling the local olives grown in Les Baux de Provence, Maussane would have been heavily agriculturally focused. Disaster struck in 1956 when a deep frost-damaged all the olive stock in Provence. The Jean Martin company and many others dependent on the olive harvest suffered terrible financial losses. Discover how the Jean Martin company has evolved since that time.
Book your cooking class here.