Just Ducky, Part III: What to Do with the Duck Liver

I’m going to provide you with three recipes in this post.

A:  Liver and Onions
B:  Liver Pate

Duck Liver Pate

Pate from one duck liver. Not the usual shindig here, but trying to maximize the duck usage from the recent fowl…

I’ll come to the third near the bottom of this post.

Frankly, I don’t do either A: or B: when I have only one poultry liver — waste of time.  You can freeze and save them up until you have enough to do A: or B: with, of course, and when I’ve made poultry liver pate, that’s what I do.

However, in the interests of using up the whole bird for this series of posts, I actually made both of the above recipes, using just the one duck liver.  And no, I didn’t divide it in half — I had a pretty good idea that the Liver and Onions thing wasn’t going to be my personal cup of tea.  Hasn’t been in any other form.  Pate:  just about any liver can be made into this.  Fortunately.

A:  Duck Liver and Onions, a reduced variant on beef liver and onions…

Ingredients:

1 duck liver (multiply as desired).  Slice thin, say 1/4 inch segments, and remove those connective threads that held the lobes together.
2 small garden onions that are somewhere between scallion and baby onion stage — these are each about twice the size of those pickled cocktail onions
Ground pepper to taste.
1/2 teaspoon ghee/clarified butter or other oil of your choice
Onion greens for garnish

Mini Onions early in this season.

Clean up your onions, cutting off the roots.  Slice them thin.

Heat up your ghee to medium on a skillet.  Add the onions.  When they start to get translucent, add your liver.  (If you use chicken liver, for safety’s sake, add those sections at the same time as you add your onions).  Add the pepper.

Stir it all around with a spatula for about 4 minutes after adding the liver.  (Chicken — at least five or six…)  You can reduce the heat, now.

Plate and serve still hot.

Okay, I’ll be quite honest here.  I HATE liver.  The onions are nice, but I hate the liver.  I tried a tiny little bit, and it really does taste enough like beef liver that I’ll pass, thank you.  I thought this would be the case, frankly.

But I do like liver pate.  Liver pate is grand, in moderation.  One liver should definitely be moderation, but since I doubt you all will stop to make liver pate out of just one duck liver, I’m recalculating and ramping up the quantities for the below to five.

Duck Liver and Onions

Mini liver and onions scenario. Could be a new fad thing?

B:  Duck Liver Pate:

Ingredients (assuming five livers even though I’m only using one of them…)

5 Duck livers, chopped.
10 of the above-described onions, finely diced OR one 1/4 of a very small supermarket onion, likewise finely diced
1 teaspoon ghee
5 teaspoons dry sherry (special sherry shouldn’t matter here)
7 teaspoons quality horseradish mustard (it matters here because otherwise you might be ingesting foodoid substances and fillers, and if you don’t need to, why should you?)
Ground pepper to taste
Celtic sea salt to taste
Something to put the pate on (celery sticks in my case)

Cook the livers, onion, and pepper and salt for about 4-5 minutes, mixing around as you do so.  I added additional ground pepper to complete this stage.

Remove from heat.  Mash with a fork, or for a smooth consistency, assuming you have enough livers for it, use an immersion stick blender.  (I didn’t.  I just simply used the stuff from recipe A:, since I wasn’t going actually to eat recipe A:.  I had to fish out onions and chop them a bit, but they were soft so no problem.)

Add sherry and add horseradish mustard.  Don’t immediately add the full amount — but mix oh, say, two thirds of the above in, and taste.  Add the rest of the sherry and the horseradish mustard as and if needed.  And don’t forget a small pinch of the salt.

Now, this is GOOD.  The sherry and the horseradish mustard, and the salt and pepper, marry with the liver flavor to make the liver actually taste wonderful.

By the way, if you adapt for chicken livers, assume that a duck liver is nearly but not quite twice the size of a chicken liver.  Also, if you cook livers, the more organic or free range they are, the healthier they are.  After all, the liver is the toxin-removal portion of the animal.  And those toxins hang out here until they are excreted.

Okay, I did mention a third recipe, recipe C:.   This really solves the problem if you 1) hate liver any which way at all or, 2) you don’t feel like stockpiling livers in the event of a pate occasion.

C:  Duck Liver Cat Food

Ingredients:

Duck Liver
Water if you want to steam it

Slice up the duck liver.

Steam it if you don’t trust your source of duck liver (or if you are feeding chicken liver).  Otherwise it is fine raw.  Actually there are sources out there that say serving your pet felines totally raw chicken is fine, but I’m afraid if I don’t trust a food source I won’t experiment on my friends.

Call the cats for dinner, and let them chow down.  Both Obi-Wan and Orion love this sort of thing.  They are probably upset that I did not share this time.  (Do not give your cats garlic, onion, shallots, leeks or any other allium family members.  Many of them may react badly.)

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