This recipe appears in:The Food Lab: How to Pan Sear Foie Gras Serious Entertaining: A Blowout Christmas Dinner
Note: Fresh foie gras can be ordered online. I prefer the grade "A" lobes from Bella Bella Gourmet, who sells foie produced by La Belle Farms, a small-scale poultry farm in Ferndale, New York. You can order the foie gras here. A lobe of foie gras weighs about 1 1/2 pounds and is enough for at least 10 to 12 servings. For a step-by-step slideshow on how to slice whole foie gras, see the post here.
Uneaten foie gras can be stored in a vacuum-sealed bag and frozen for several months. Excess sauce can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Serve extra sauce with charcuterie, cheese, or roast duck or pork. Excess spiced orange syrup can be used to flavor soda water and stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- For the Orange Purée:
- 1 whole orange, scrubbed clean
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 clove star anise
- 3 cups sugar
- 3 cups water
- Kosher salt
- For the Foie Gras:
- 4 slabs fresh grade "A" foie gras, each 1/2-inch thick, lightly scored in a hashmark pattern on one side (6 to 8 ounces total, see note above)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon finely sliced chives
- Coarse sea salt such as Maldon or fleur de sel
- 1 tablespoon finely diced candied orange peel
Make the Orange Puree: Use the tip of a sharp knife to cut several slits in the skin of the orange.
Combine cinnamon, clove, sugar, and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to the lowest setting. Add orange to pot. Place a clean kitchen towel or a paper towel over the top of the pot, pushing it down until it is in contact with the liquid to keep the orange moist on all sides. Cook until orange is completely tender, about 1 hour. Discard cinnamon and star anise.
Transfer orange to the jar of a blender and add a cup of cooking syrup. Blend on high speed until completely smooth, adding more syrup as necessary to reach a nice gel-like consistency. Season with a pinch of salt and press through a fine mesh strainer. Set aside. Reserve orange syrup for another use (see note above)
For the Foie Gras: Lay a double layer of paper towels on top of a plate or cutting board and set aside. Season foie gras liberally on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat a small skillet over high heat for at least 3 minutes. Place foie gras in skillet scored-side-down. It should immediately start smoking, sizzling, and rendering fat. If it doesn't, remove and allow the pan to preheat for another 1 to 2 minutes. Once all four pieces of foie are in skillet, cook, swirling pan gently every few seconds, until deeply browned and crisp on first side, about 30 seconds. Use a thin metal spatula to flip foie gras onto second side and cook for 30 second longer. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate and let rest for 1 minute.
Spoon some orange puree onto four individual serving plates and place 1 slice of foie gras on each. Top with chives, coarse sea salt, and candied orange peel. Serve immediately with lightly dressed greens.