Monday, December 29, 2014

Figs and foie gras

One of the incontournable (must-have) food items during the end-of-year holiday season is foie gras (fattened goose or duck liver), so when we saw that our local volailler (poultry vendor) had some available, we couldn't resist. What they had was whole duck liver, prepared and cooked, in containers of either 250 grams or 500 grams. We opted for the smaller one.

Six perfectly ripe figs, ready to go.

During the holiday season, the supermarkets are chock full of canned and vacuum-packed foie gras in all its iterations ranging from whole livers to agglomerated liver pieces to pâtés made with foie gras (and other things). We've had many of them over the years, and they are normally good. Our local poultry vendor had obviously prepared and vacuum-sealed their own duck livers and we wanted to give them a try.

Figs halved and cooked slightly in a reduction of balsamic vinegar and sugar.

The foie gras is good on its own, but it also goes really well with a sweet accompaniment, most often a type of chutney made with figs. We found some nice figs in a grocery store and planned to have the liver and figs as our first course on Christmas day. I made a reduction of balsamic vinegar and sugar (which turns into a thick, sweet syrup) to dress the figs, each cut in half.

The foie gras is ready to be sliced and served with figs along side.

The result was delicious! The duck liver we got has served the two of us twice, so far, and there is enough for four more servings. It's a nice little luxury for the holidays.


  1. Yum... those figs look good!
    And that foie gras looks very nice too!
    The fact that you can see the join between lobes...
    and that it has been sealed in butter...
    just make me want to cut a slice!

  2. From a positon of complete ignorance but having heard something, isn't the production of fois gras quite cruel to the birds?

    1. The technique of gavage dates as far back as 2500 BC, when the ancient Egyptians began keeping birds for food and deliberately fattened the birds through force-feeding.[5] Industrial farming chiken is by far worst !

  3. I've met ducks on the gavage line at Civray and they could have got up and run away (well, staggered away) at any time if they wanted to. They were treated extremely well apart from the utterly unnatural food regime. They seemed very contented.

  4. I never tire of foie gras. Thierry is lucky enough to get it as a gift from his farmer clients throughout the year, so we occasionally splurge "off season."

  5. We went shares in the foie gras that Susan and Rosemary prepared -- Susan bought it locally and then she and Rosemary cooked it earlier this month. It is still delicious [we haven't quite finished it yet]. We're eating it with red currant jelly, as Niall isn't a fan of figs.

  6. You're killin' me here. I love that foie gras. Can't get anything like that in Virginia.

  7. fois gras is definitely 'non-PC" here in the states. I lived in Chicago when it was formally banned (under the pressure of ASPCA I recall). It was quite controversial. It is part of the paradox of the states - sumptuary laws of gourmet yummies but overindulgence of rubbish foods in general.


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