Duck liver probably looks like a challenge to you. I am sure some of you have already prepared it. For those who haven’t, here’s a chance to do it because it’s not that complicated. The only challenge is that you have to wait a lot.
When someone says duck liver, it probably sounds like something that you can find on the menu of an elite restaurant.
The basic rule of elite restaurants is that the dishes are simple, and the ingredients used of the best possible quality. Knowing French preparation techniques is a MUST. This being said, here you have the main calculation for an expensive dish.
So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get rid of the fear of making this recipe because it’s really simple.
It’s both a dish for holidays and special occasions.
I’ll give you some directions on where and how to choose duck liver (or goose).
Duck liver can be fresh, freshly vacuumed, or frozen. All three of them have their own prices. The most expensive one, you guessed it, is the fresh one. You can buy it directly from the producer.
Duck liver fat
Yes, duck liver is very greasy, but it shouldn’t be too greasy. If you just roast in a pan, which is also an option, then you can roast quickly on both sides (1-2 mins). In this case, you don’t need oil or any other type of additional fat. Roasting in a pan can be a basic test for the quality of the duck liver. If the liver releases lots of fat, it will melt, which is a sign that it is of poor quality. Don’t buy that one anymore, change the producer.
Let’s go back to our way of preparation…
Once we have the duck liver, we should decide how much we actually need. Then, we need to defrost it and clean it from veins and capillaries.
I separate the quantity I need while the liver is still frozen…then I cut it in length and freeze immediately because we cannot let the liver defrost in the meantime.
I will defrost the part I separated for use by moving it from the freezer to the fridge and leave it overnight.
Once it’s defrosted, I slowly chop the liver searching for larger pieces. I also remove all the red tendrils (veins and capillaries). It’s good to know that in both halves of duck liver there is one central vein that you need to remove first. Cleaning of should be done with surgical gloves!
Once I clean the liver from veins and capillaries, I need to marinade it. How and why it should be marinated is explained here.
The most common marinade is salt, sugar, and some alcohol, for example, cognac. You must never use vodka, but wine is fine.
It should sit in the marinade for 24h. It’s best marinated, which doesn’t mean it’s the only way if you vacuum it in a sous vide bag. (special bag for vacuuming).
Preparing duck liver is most commonly done in sous vide, but you can do it in a pot with a thermometer so that you can control the temperature (which is how I have done it here). The temperature must not exceed 85°C. This part is not hard, but you need to have a thermometer if you don’t have a sous vide bag.
The rest of the recipe is as follows.
If you have some leftover meat, cook or roasted, you just need to clean it from bones and veins and mix it with duck or goose liver along with adding stone and dried fruit.
All the stone and dried fruit can be substituted and you can put something to your taste, for example, raisins, cranberries, etc. It all goes great with duck liver.
Just don’t exaggerate with cognac because the entire dish will taste bitter.
You should start with the preparation of duck liver a day or two in advance because of the marinating and defrosting.