Seared Foie Gras With Mission Fig and Balsamic Reduction

Seared Foie Gras
Thomas Barwick/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1122 Calories
65g Fat
50g Carbs
82g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1122
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 65g 83%
Saturated Fat 22g 111%
Cholesterol 386mg 129%
Sodium 1095mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Total Sugars 27g
Protein 82g
Vitamin C 4mg 21%
Calcium 204mg 16%
Iron 9mg 50%
Potassium 1202mg 26%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Foie gras, which means "fatty liver," is one of the world's great culinary delicacies. The flavor and texture are ​virtually impossible to describe. Foie gras isn't an everyday kind of thing to eat, but the next time you want to serve something decadent and celebratory, try this preparation. It's seared and cooked simply and served alongside a fig and balsamic reduction with red currant jelly. It's a balance of sweet, tart, and sour and an ideal accompaniment to cut through and balance the rich taste of foie gras.

The history of foie gras can be considered a little controversial. Foie gras comes from geese or ducks that have been force-fed in order to enlarge their livers, and it's a practice that dates back to at least 400 B.C., as Egyptian hieroglyphics depict enslaved people force-feeding geese to enlarge the livers. However, French chef Jean-Joseph Clause is credited with creating and popularizing pâté de foie gras in 1779. Source only from a reputable and trusted vendor.


  • 1 quart veal, or chicken stock

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, preferably aged

  • 2 tablespoons red currant jelly

  • 12 small dried mission figs, quartered

  • Salt, to taste

  • Ground pepper, to taste

  • 4 (2- to 3-ounce) slices grade "A" foie gras

  • 4 slices toasted white bread, crusts trimmed

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Add veal or chicken stock, balsamic vinegar, red currant jelly, and figs into a saucepan and reduce on medium heat, until only about a cup of liquid remains. The sauce will thicken slightly as it reduces. Be careful not to reduce too far, as the sauce will burn. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.

  3. Season foie gras slices generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a dry skillet over high heat until very hot. Sear slices for 1 to 2 minutes per side. Foie gras will brown and should be heated through, but removed before slices begin to shrink significantly and lose too much of their fat.

  4. Place toasted bread on a plate, top with seared foie gras, and spoon over the sauce. Serve immediately.


If you have trouble finding red currant jelly in your local supermarket it can be ordered online. Otherwise, you can substitute grape jelly or apple jelly instead.

How to Store Seared Foie Gras with Fig and Balsamic Reduction

Leftover foie gras will keep for two days in the refrigerator well-wrapped or in an airtight container. Reheat in a moderate (350 F) oven for several minutes until it's hot.

What's the difference between foie gras and pâté?

All foie gras is a pâté, but not all pâté is foie gras. Pâté simply refers to a smooth and spreadable ground meat preparation that is cooked and served either hot or cold. Foie gras, in particular, is made from the liver of fattened geese or ducks. The taste is rich and the texture is silky.