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Foie gras leftovers

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  • Tida Oct 19, 2000 12:31 PM
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I was recently reading an article about foie gras, and I started wondering about what they do with the birds after they've been fattened for their livers and then slaughtered. Does anyone know if you can eat the meat of the bird as well or is it just too fatty? Just curious...

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  1. l
    Leslie Brenner

    In France, wasting food is tantamount to a mortal sin, and just about every part of the bird is used. With ducks, for instance, the breast is used for magret--the cut served rare or medium rare, with that nice layer of fat. The legs (and some other parts, if memory serves) are made into confit, preserved in fat. This is done right at the farms where the birds are raised; these products are often canned and sold along with the foie. Other parts have other uses...

    5 Replies
    1. re: Leslie Brenner

      I just had no idea whether the rest of the bird got so fatty that other parts were no good. I'm glad to know that there are many uses for the rest of the bird like make a confit, etc. When I had read about how they fatten the livers, that seemed kind of harsh so I'm glad that's not all they use the birds for.

      Thanks!

      1. re: Tida

        I've bought all sorts of by-products from Sonoma Foie Gras (talk to Juni) --- duck stock, duck bones, duck fat, smoked duck breast, legs confit. . .

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          And when in Gascony, don't forget to try roasted duck carcass, the hulk left over after the otherwise salable parts are sliced off. Bits of browned, crackly meat, scraps of blackened skin, and as a bonus, the ``oysters'' on the back. Amazing snack.

          1. re: Pepper

            Oooh, very interesting, the first time I've heard about this. When I use the smoked duck breast from Sonoma Foie Gras, the fat and skin zips right off. Then I save it to slice in thin strips to fry and use like lardons.

            I haven't been to Gascony, but for last week's Bordeaux blow-out I had planned to make a Gascony specialty of roast goose stuffed with prunes and foie gras. That is until I read the recipe closely and discovered that the foie gras was stuffed into the individual prunes and then into the goose. Too much work for this girl! So my guests got roast squab instead, with a crouton spread with duck liver and black truffle pate.

      2. re: Leslie Brenner
        d
        Dan Silverman

        The fattening process that ultimately produces foie gras is responsible for some highly edible biproducts. The legs and breasts from the foie gras duck--generally the bread is called moulard, a cross between Pekin and Muscovy--are great. The legs can be braised, slowly roasted, or used in confit. The meaty breasts, called magret, are pretty ok smoked, but really reach their zenith simply grilled or pan roasted skin side down until most of the fat has been rendered and the skin crisp. The breast has a very meaty, unpoultrylike flavor. And all the fat you've rendered is perfect for frying or sauteeing (forgive my spelling--it's late and I'm tired) potatoes.

        Also foie gras producers sell the fat, kidneys, necks, feet and hearts of the birds as well. Truly, nothing goes to waste...And, as they say, "it's all good."