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Recipe: Seared Foie Gras with Braised Fennel and Cracked Pepper Caramel Sauce

I’ve probably said this about other foie gras recipes in the past, but this really is my favorite preparation.  The recipe is just slightly altered from the original recipe which can be found in Michael Ginor’s epic cookbook “Foie Gras: A Passion”.  The original recipe calls for a whole lobe of foie gras to be poached in a sweet wine such at Sauternes.  The first time I tried this recipe, I poached the foie gras exactly as described in the recipe.  It was wonderful that way; however, I generally prefer seared foie gras over poached foie gras.

The beauty of this recipe is it’s simplicity in ingredients and preparation.  The result is a dish that tastes clean and familiar, relying on the natural complexities of the ingredients.  Enjoy!


4 – 6 small bulbs of fennel

1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

3 tablespoons chicken broth

coarse salt

8 portions of flash frozen duck foie gras

or 8 slices of fresh duck foie gras, 1.5 lb

4 tablespoons sugar

1 ½ teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper

1 cup chicken or duck broth

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


First, cut the stalks from the fennel bulbs.  Reserve a few feathery ends for garnish.  Cut each bulb into 8 wedges.  Place the fennel, butter or olive oil chicken broth and a pinch of coarse salt in a covered pan and braise until the fennel is soft and just slightly golden, The fennel should remain moist and may need additional broth or water added during the cooking process.  Keep warm.

Preheat the oven to 400°.  Devein the lobe of foie gras if using fresh product.  If using portioned flash frozen foie gras, remove any visible veins.  Heat a large frying pan on medium high heat.  Sear the foie gras until golden brown on the outside, about 30 seconds to one minute on each side.  Put the foie gras in the oven in a roasting pan and cook for one to two minutes if necessary.  The foie gras should be medium rare.

Place the sugar in a small nonstick frying pan.  Over medium heat, allow the sugar to melt slightly, then add cracked pepper.  Let the sugar caramelize while swirling the pan.  Add the chicken or duck broth.  Reduce over medium heat until the sauce has the consistency of a light golden syrup.  Add salt and lemon juice.

To serve, place the braised fennel in the center of each plate, top with the foie gras, and drizzle the sauce over the top and around the edge of the plate.  Chop reserved feathery fennel ends and sprinkle as garnish.

Serves 4 as a main course or 8 as an appetizer.

3 comments to Recipe: Seared Foie Gras with Braised Fennel and Cracked Pepper Caramel Sauce

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