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Foie Gras Preparation

Hannah Abaffy
  |   January 15, 2015   |  

How to Prepare Foie Gras

Learn how to do it like the pros with this easy-to-follow Foie Gras preparation guide, including info on storing, cleaning, and deveining this exquisite ingredient. While preparation may vary slightly depending on the desired finished dish, the main points remain the same. Follow along to learn how to masterfully handle any goose or duck liver to maximize its delicious qualities.

Storing and Handling Foie Gras

Storing and handling foie gras properly is crucial to maintaining its quality and safety. Foie gras is a delicate and perishable ingredient, so it's important to follow the recommended guidelines. 

  • Temperature control is of the utmost importance to maintaining the velvety texture of your finished dish. 
  • Always store your liver in the original vacuum-sealed packaging until ready to prepare. Fresh foie can last in the refrigerator for up to three weeks unopened. Frozen, it can last up to an entire year! 
  • Fully cooked products like mousses, blocs, and pates can last on the shelf for a few years, be sure to check your labels. Micuit or partially cooked foie gras, however, should be refrigerated.
  • If frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight or according to the manufacturer's instructions. Avoid thawing at room temperature to prevent bacterial growth.

Cleaning and Removing Veins

Cleaning foie gras is an important step in its preparation, ensuring that any membranes, blood vessels, or imperfections are removed to achieve a smooth and refined texture in the final dish. 

  • Begin by removing the packaging, rinse, and pat dry.
  • Inspect the foie gras for visible veins, blood vessels, or discolored spots. Look for any membranes that may need to be removed.
  • Use a sharp knife to carefully trim away any imperfections or discolored areas.
  • Locate the large veins in the lobe and gently cut along each side with a knife, exposing the vein.
  • Use the back of the knife or your fingers to carefully remove and follow the trail of each, pulling the veins out gently.
  • Once deveining is complete, inspect again to ensure it is free from any remaining veins or unwanted parts.

Cleaning the lobe is crucial to achieving the desired texture and flavor in the final dish. Take your time to carefully inspect and clean it, ensuring that it is free from any unwanted elements before cooking.


While foie gras has a naturally rich and buttery taste, adding complementary seasonings can elevate the overall dish. Salt and pepper are a must, and seasoning can stop there; or if looking to infuse a few more complimenting flavors, thyme adds an herbal note while nutmeg brings warmth, and a pinch of sugar adds depth and a layer of sweetness that makes an excellent finish to the savor of foie. 

Marinating is also an option. Sweet wines, liquors, or port are classic choices and quickly enhance the nuance of the finished dish. 

No matter which seasonings you choose, be conservative, as foie gras has a distinct flavor that can be easily overwhelmed. Allowing the liver to absorb the seasonings by letting it sit for a few minutes before cooking is also recommended. 

Forming and Shaping

Forming and shaping help elevate your dish and allow you to create specific presentations.



  • If creating Medallions, slice the lobes into small rounds. To ensure the best results, work with a well-chilled liver for easier handling. Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water and cut into slices of the desired thickness. The finished pieces can then be seared or broiled for an elegant and delicious finish. 

Torchon (Wrapped in Cloth):


  • Shape the liver into a cylindrical form by rolling it in a clean kitchen cloth or cheesecloth. Twist the ends of the cloth to secure the shape. A traditional preparation method Torchon is often poached or cooked slowly.

Terrine or Pâté:


  • Layer foie gras in a terrine dish, alternating with other ingredients if desired. Compress the layers gently to create a uniform texture then chill and slice before serving.



  • Foie gras can be pureed to create a smooth mousse. Blend the liver with other ingredients like cream or wine until a silky texture is achieved, then pipe it into molds for an elegant presentation.

For more in-depth information and Foie Gras Recipes, try out our exquisite Duck Breast with Wine and Figs, or try crafting our mouthwatering Foie Gras Hamburger.


Connie from Memphis, TN


Hannah Abaffy

Chef-Copywriter-Sultan of Sweets

Working in the hospitality industry for well over a decade, Chef Hannah Abaffy has held every position available in a restaurant kitchen. From line cook to executive pastry chef, she calls on her ten-plus years of work in the field and her culinary degree to write about our gourmet ingredients and craft informational articles and blog posts that will help you elevate everything from a wedge of cheese to a lobe of foie gras.

From working with food every day to writing about it, Hannah is now a contributing author for Gourmet Food Store, along with her work helping restaurants develop recipes and craft menus and running her award-nominated food history blog Milk and Honey.

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Questions and Answers

Q:How is Foie Gras Prepared?
A:While duck liver is handled in various ways, depending on what dish you are preparing, the basic method generally follows these steps: thaw, clean, devein, season, shape, and cook.
Q:How to Make Seared Foie Gras?
A:Following the aforementioned steps within the article, once your liver is prepared for cooking place the seasoned liver slices in the hot pan. Sear each side briefly, typically 1 to 2 minutes per side. Once you’ve achieved the desired caramelization, drain the fat, rest, and serve!
Q:Can Foie Gras be Raw?
A:Foie gras is typically not consumed raw in the same way that other liver dishes might be. The traditional preparation involves cooking it to achieve a specific texture and flavor. However, some variations and preparations involve minimal cooking.
Q:How to Prepare Canned Foie Gras?
A:Canned foie gras is a convenient and readily available option for enjoying this delicacy. While it may not offer the same texture as fresh, it can still be a delicious addition to various dishes. Serve alongside fresh crusty bread or artisan crackers and a sweet element like a reduction or jam for a gourmet indulgence that’s ready in moments.
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