Foie Gras Cuit au Torchon
1 lobe fresh Duck Foie Gras approx. 11/2 lbs.
Milk, to cover the Foie Gras
2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp fresh Ground Pepper
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 gal Chicken Stock
Method for Foie Gras Cuit au Torchon
Soak the foie gras. Rinse the foie gras under cold running water to remove any blood. Pat dry with a paper towel, place in a clean container just large enough to fit the foie gras, and cover with milk. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. This will draw out as much blood as possible as to give the foie gras a very blonde color.
• The next day, remove the foie gras, rinse under cold water and dry with a paper towel. Allow the foie gras to warm up at room temperature for about ? hour. This will make it much easier to clean the liver. Break the lobe in two. Now with the smooth side of the liver facing down, very gently work your fingers into the liver to expose the nerves and veins. Slowly work your fingers under the vein and follow it down the liver, separating the foie gras as needed. Repeat this as to remove all the veins and nerves. There are many nerves in the liver and the task can be painstaking but the result will be worth it. It really doesn’t matter how mashed up the inside of the foie gras is as long as the outside remains smooth and in tack.
• Place the splayed foie gras in a plastic container, and season with the salt, pepper and sugar. If you are flavoring the foie gras with some kind of liquor, brandy or wine, this would be the time to add it. ( If using a spirit to flavor the foie gras, remember to cook or heat it to remove the alcohol, as the alcohol will cook the foie gras during the marinating process.) Place a piece of plastic wrap on the foie gras as to keep as much air out. Let marinate for 24 hours.
• Forming the torchon. Remove the foie gras from the container and place in the center of some plastic wrap. Break the foie gras and try to form into a crude log shape. Pull the plastic wrap tightly around the foie gras. Hold both ends of the plastic wrap and role the foie gras away from you to form a tight and well formed tube or sausage shaped package. Carefully tie the ends of the plastic wrap tight. With a sharp pointed knife pick some small holes all around the foie gras. Now lay out a clean kitchen towel “torchon” and place the foie gras in the center. Now repeat as with the plastic wrap to form a very tight log. Have a helper hold one end of the torchon tightly and secure with a piece of kitchen string. Repeat with the other side. Now tie three to five more pieces of kitchen string around the torchon starting in the center and all equidistant from each other. The foie gras au torchon should be neat and tight.
• Cooking the foie gras. Bring 1 gallon of chicken stock to a simmer. Place the foie gras au torchon into the stock and cook for 15 to 17 minutes. Remove carefully to an ice bath and allow to set firm.
• Serving the foie gras au torchon. When the foie gras has set up, carefully remove the torchon and then the plastic. You should have a nice uniform log of cooked and well seasoned foie gras. Slice into 1/4 to 1/4 inch thick rounds and serve. There are many ideas and variations for serving “Foie Gras Cuit au Torchon” but toast points or croutons are usually included. Today it will be serves with some pickled black cherries. Voila et bon appetite.