French cuisine is famous for its delicacies. One of the most mysterious products, which is associated with many legends and continuing disputes, is apparently foie gras. This superb cold appetizer is a delicacy of kings, which has long been an integral part of any festive table. The name of the dish is of French origin, meaning "fatty liver". It is presented as a liver of duck or goose, which was fattened using a special technique (gavage) and prepared in some of the traditional ways (torchon, terrine, parfait and so one). At the very mention of foie gras, we immediately imagine famous French gourmet restaurants, exquisite Sunday lunches of Parisian grandees, elegant soirées of influential ladies. This superb cold appetizer is a delicacy of kings, which has long been an integral part of any festive table.
However, it is still unclear how to prepare foie gras and maintain all the nutritional properties of the dish, as well as to make it unbelievably tasty. So this article is dedicated to foie gras cooking methods, and to some elements of serving as well. After reading it, you will not hesitate anymore whether to buy or not, to serve or not our excellent foie gras dishes. The answer is YES!
If you decide to cook the food item on your own, we recommend using one of the following methods presented in the different regions of France:
The easiest way to prepare it, but at the same time the one which requires a great deal of technique, should be done by cutting the product into slices 1.5 cm thick and frying in butter or olive oil. Remember that the pan and the oil should be warmed up well enough, so that a piece of foie gras is immediately covered in crispy golden crust. Otherwise, the noble delicacy will irrevocably be melted in the pan. If you do everything right, this great food item in crispy crust will remain silky, and the taste will be unbelievably gentle. Allow the fat to drain out (or better dry with a napkin) and serve in that exact moment. True foie gras connoisseurs believe that if there is a trace of fat on the lips after trying the dish, the food is poorly prepared. Different jams, pickled and fresh fruits (apples, pears, oranges, figs, peaches), chestnuts invariably accompany this delicacy on a plate.
Another classic way of cooking foie gras requires, perhaps, less skill, but still some knowledge of traditions, patience and right proportions. The point of this method is quite simple: raw foie gras is marinated in the mixture of brandy, salt, pepper, spices overnight. The next morning, add truffles and Madeira wine to the marinated food item, and rub it in a terrine (special ceramic bowl) at least one hour until a uniform mass is obtained. Then, smooth out the top with a wooden spatula, and place in a water bath in the oven, where foie gras is languishing for about an hour. After that cover the top with duck or goose fat and rest the dish to cool down out of the oven.
This delicacy should be served chilled, but not too cold. Therefore, foie gras is best to remove from the refrigerator 15-20 minutes before serving. Cut it into slices about 1-1.5 cm thick, use a sharp knife without teeth. If the product is still a bit chilled, running the knife under hot water and then drying the knife makes it easier to cut.To find out more about serving, read another article of ours "How to serve Foie Gras".
When buying such a product, you should choose one of two basic approaches: to get the raw product and cook it by yourself, or to buy fully-cooked liver. Let us consider in more details the first approach, which requires immediate foie gras preparation. Fresh foie gras comes in two forms – chilled and frozen. Shelf-life of foie gras varies depending on the type: chilled one – from 1 to 3 days (therefore, it is sometimes difficult to find it), frozen one can be stored a few months (at a temperature of -18ºC). Working with the frozen product is extremely complex process, and definitely requires the highest cooking skill level. However, even in that case there is a risk that the finished product will not meet the high standards of French cuisine. There is one more optimal type – vacuumed one, the shelf-life of which is about one week.
Should we actually say that in order to cook foie gras, in the hands of a skilled chef, as well as of an amateur cook must necessarily be the product of the highest quality? So if you really take care about your health, order only the best duck liver products. Such food items are available at Marky’s all the time, the only thing you should do is to visit our special “Foie Gras” section, where you can also find some useful information about the delicacy. Thus, the question of how to cook duck live or how to cook goose liver will not disturb you anymore.