Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Almost the most useless dictionary definition in the world

I bought what I thought was a duck breast last week. It certainly looked like it from the outside. (And it was in the right fridge in the supermarket.)

But when I opened it, there was no skin. Not a hint. Equally unexpectedly, the meat was in strips. I looked at the label on the packet for the first time and discovered I had bought some aiguillettes.

Not having a clue what these were, I turned to our biggest French-English dictionary and found this definition: aiguillette (cul) aiguillette.

Being none the wiser, I turned to our biggest English dictionary and found: aiguillette [2] a variant of aglet.

Obviously I wasn’t letting it go there. And, beginning to feel like there was only one word in all our dictionaries, I found this on the previous page: aglet [2] a variant spelling of aiguillette.

I put the packet back in the fridge.

I mentioned my problem on Sunday at a friend’s house. She, her husband, a friend and her husband all said: “Aiguillettes! They’re delicious, they are.” I was even given this recipe:
Pan fry the aiguillettes for a couple of minutes on both sides, then remove to a plate.
De-glaze the (very hot) pan with brandy, set on fire and reduce.
Add crème fraîche and reduce again, before returning the aiguillettes to the pan.
Serve with rice.

I did this on Sunday evening for me and Her Outdoors. I still don’t have a clue what we ate, but it was bluddie delicious.


dND said...

Best I came up with is duck tenderloin! I though when I first saw them they might be the inner breast fillets like the chicken inner fillets that you used to get in the UK.


devolutionary said...

My dad pulled this out of my mum's cooking dictionary:

"An aiguillette means a thin slice or slices cut lengthways on the breast of poultry and winged game. Strictly speaking the word should only be used to describe thin slices of fowl, but it is often used to describe thin slices of meat too, eg 'cut a filette of beef into aiguillettes'. Aiguillette is also used to describe the top of rump."

But I suspect you're right, dND. They look like the bit that tries to fall off a chicken breast.