Duck liver is a flavorful and more affordable alternative to foie gras. Chefs usually make a smooth pate from it. Nevertheless it could be used in different other dishes from a simple snack to a separate dish or as an addition to a classic frisée salad with bacon lardons.

The main advantages of duck liver are that it is quick to cook, tasty and much more animal friendly. While choosing duck livers to cook some dish, look for fatty ones. They are usually taken from domestic ducks. Wild duck livers are not so fat.

Let’s look through some traditional recipes:

Recipe No 1. Seared duck liver

Ingredients

1 tablespoon grape-seed or other high smoke-point oil

2 duck liver (or more)

Fine sea salt

High-quality balsamic vinegar

How to cook:

Take a frying pan and heat it. Pour oil and heat until it smokes. After that take the pan off the heat and put livers on it. Move livers by shaking the pan. It helps against sticking. Put the pan on the stove again and fry the livers for 90 seconds. Turn them on the other side and sear for 30 more seconds. Remove from the stove. Before serving sprinkle some sea salt on the liver and drizzle it with balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately!

Be careful not to overcook liver or it will get chalky.

Recipe No 2 Duck Liver with Onions

Ingredients:

2 whole duck livers

1 onion, roughly chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

¼ tsp English mustard

1 tsp cider vinegar

pinch of salt

2 slices sourdough bread, toasted

thyme to garnish

How to cook:

Heat the olive oil and begin to fry the onion over a medium heat. Wash your livers and chop each into 4 large pieces. Put the mustard and vinegar to the onions and stir until, sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Make toasts. Add liver to the pan and fry on each side for 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to overcook! They should be pink on the inside. Put the liver and onions onto the toast and serve with a fresh thyme.

Recipe No 3 Duck Liver on Toast

Ingredients:

• 2 whole duck livers, trimmed and cleaned

• 1 tbsp olive oil

• 1 shallot, finely chopped

• 20g butter

• a few sprigs of thyme

• a pinch of salt

• 2 slices of sourdough bread

How to cook:

Heat a pan with the oil, put livers and cook until caramelized on each side. Take from the heat and put in the warm place. Add the butter, shallots and a few sprigs of thyme to the same pan. Cook until the shallots are turning a golden brown. Make toasts. Return the livers to the pan and warm. Pour the butter from the pan on the top of the livers during warming. Add salt and serve with thyme and a small amount of good-quality mayonnaise.

Recipe No 4. Duck liver with vermouth

Ingredients:

130g/5 oz duck livers

1 tbsp seasoned flour

Duck fat, or olive oil for frying

Red vermouth to glaze

Dill (or chives)

Spanish sweet smoked paprika

How to cook:

First of all warm your plates to put liver after cooking. Take a pan and warm the fat. Lightly coat the livers in the seasoned flour, and fry for a couple of minutes, then turn and fry on the other side another couple of minutes. The livers should still be rosy inside. Toast your brioche. Put livers on warmed plates, sprinkled with the paprika and herbs. Glaze vermouth on the pan and pour ready sauce on the liver. Serve with the green salad and the toasted brioche.

Recipe No 5.Cream and whisky coated duck livers.

Ingredients:

130g/5 oz duck livers

1 tbsp seasoned flour

60 ml/¼ cup/4 tbsps double cream

2 tsps whiskey – to taste – double is a bit over the top

Duck fat or olive oil to fry

Freshly chopped dill or chives

How to cook:

First warm your plates. Heat the fat in a frying pan. Cover the livers in the seasoned flour, and fry for a few minutes, then turn and fry on the other side another 2-3 minutes. The livers should still be rosy in the middle. Toast your brioche. Add the whiskey on frying pan, and then add the cream. Wait till it start bubbling. Wait for a while and take out of the stove. Put liver on the warm plate and sprinkle with the herbs, together with the brioche and a plain green salad with an oily dressing.