“Searing fresh foie gras in a skillet is the simplest, and arguably the best, way to appreciate the delicacy. A dusting of sugar and quatre-épices, four-spice powder, enhances caramelization during cooking, and gives a sweet dimension to the foie gras’ fatty richness.” — David McAninch
- One 12-ounce piece fresh foie gras, cut into 1-inch-thick pieces
- 1 Teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
- 1 Teaspoon quatre-épices (four-spice powder), plus more if needed (alternatively: 1/4 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground white or black pepper)
- 1 Teaspoon crushed black pepper
- Kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Coarse salt
Spread the foie gras pieces out on a baking sheet or large plate. Season both sides with the sugar, quatre-épices, crushed black pepper, and kosher salt. Cover the foie gras with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.
Place a heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. When the pan is very hot, add the foie gras pieces and cook, flipping once, until nicely browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. (They will release a great deal of fat.)
Transfer the foie gras to a serving plate and pour off the rendered fat. Add the vinegar to the pan to deglaze it; let the liquid boil for a few seconds, then drizzle it over the foie gras.
Sprinkle the foie gras with a little coarse salt. Serve hot.
From the book: DUCK SEASON: Eating, Drinking and Other Misadventures in Gascony—France's Last Best Place by David McAninch. Copyright © 2017 by David McAninch. Reprinted courtesy of Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.