Serves 6

Throughout the history of foie gras, this delicate fresh liver, braised simply and perfectly, was considered the epitome of epicurean art. Jean-Louis Palladin, who began his career at the age of 12 in the heart of French foie gras country- Condom, Gascony- shares his native expertise in this recipe.

1 pound, 2 ounces Grade-A fresh duck foie gras, left whole
5 shallots, sliced 1/4-inch thick
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Rhubarb sauce:
3 cups of 1-inch pieces of rhubarb
1 cup sugar
2 cups duck consomme (substitute chicken stock)
2 cups veal stock

Rhubarb Puree:
2 cupsof  1-inch pieces of rhubarb
½ cup sugar
1 cup duck consomme (substitute chicken)

Rhubarb Sauce: In a large pot combine rhubarb, sugar and consomme. Cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced by half. Add veal stock and cook 15 minutes. Pass through a fine sieve or cheesecloth, using a ladle to squeeze out all the juices. (The sauce should be fairly thin but not watery. If too watery, continue to reduce until it thickens. If too thick, add more consomme.) Keep warm until ready to serve.

Rhubarb Puree: Combine rhubarb, sugar and consomme in a pot. Cook 10 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender. Puree all ingredients in a food processor until it is the consistency of apple sauce.Transfer to a small bowl and keep warm.

Foie Gras: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat a dry heavy skillet over high heat. Season foie gras with salt and freshly ground pepper. (Do not cut or trim in any way.) Place foie gras in the hot pan and transfer to the preheated oven. Cook for 10 minutes. Turn foie gras once, add the shallots and cook another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and. Using a sharp knife, cut 1-inch slices of foie gras for each serving.

To serve, place 2 tablespoons of rhubarb puree in the center of each plate. Position a slice of foie gras over the puree. Ladle 4 tablespoons of hot rhubarb sauce over the foie gras. Serve immediately.

Note: Optional garnish: Take 1 rhubarb stem and cut into 1/8-inch diagonal slices. Blanch the slices in boiling water for 2 minutes or until just-cooked. Drain and arrange around edge of plate.

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