Foie Gras de Canard Poêlé aux Raisins Blancs
Region: France, Languedoc
Category: Variety Meats
Difficulty: Medium Difficulty
Although this recipe is from Gascony, one finds foie gras popular in the wider region southwest France including Languedoc. This preparation for the very expensive raw fattened duck liver is adapted from Alain Dutournier’s restaurant recipe from Au Trou Gascon in Paris published in Saveur Cooks Authentic French. First, read what Paul Bocuse and Paula Wolfert have to say about buying and cooking fresh raw foie gras in his book on French cooking and hers on the cooking of southwest France.
Yield: Makes 2 servings
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
½ fresh duck foie gras (about 6 ounces), at room temperature
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 cup good-quality sauternes
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon ruby port or Marsala wine
3 tablespoons chicken stock
3/4 teaspoon sugar
½ tablespoon fine bread crumbs
1 cup large seedless green grapes, halved
1. Place the foie gras in front of you and unfold slightly so the two lobes are displayed (they are attached). Pull any bits of translucent membrane from the surface of the foie gras and, using a small paring knife, sever any connective veins, probing with your fingers for the main vein and its branches and pulling it out as you follow its length. Inspect the folds for patches of bitter green bile and, if found, extract them with a knife. Slice off any bruises. Rinse the foie gras under cold water, then pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
2. In a medium saucepan, reduce the sauternes over a medium heat until 3 tablespoons left, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 400º F.
4. Rub an 8-inch cast-iron skillet with the crushed garlic and heat over high heat. Sear the foie gras until nicely browned and crisp, about 2 minutes on each side at the most. It is this operation where you need to be the most careful. Every foie gras is different, and because it is mostly fat it can vanish almost instantly under high heat. So if you see a lot of fat melting remove the foie gras immediately. Remove the foie gras with a spatula and set aside. Pour off the fat and reserve for another use.
5. Deglaze the skillet with the port, stock, and reduced sauternes. Add the sugar, bread crumbs, and season with salt and pepper. Cook over high heat for 3 minutes until a reduced a little and return the foie gras to the skillet with the grapes and place in the oven until the interior is pinkish beige or reaches a temperature of 120ºF on an instant read meat thermometer or until quite a bit of fat is melting. Remove the foie gras from the skillet and transfer to a platter, slice the foie gras thinly and pour the sauce and grapes over and serve with thin slices of walnut bread.