Candied duck liver and gizzard

japanese cake

The whole duck we rotissed for Christmas, came with most of its parts—the liver and gizzard tucked in its cavity. I decided to use these in a small appetizer which was inspired by the dish we had at Nojo restaurant in San Francisco. I think, for my first try, this was quite a success but it was a bit too sweet and I will need to further modify the recipe.

Duck liver and gizzard: For the liver, I removed any veins and fat from the surface and cut it into small bite sized pieces. For the gizzard, I removed the silver skin and sliced it rather thinly against the grain of the muscle.

Deep frying: I essentially made tempura. I first dredged the liver and gizzard. I made a rather thick tempura batter with cold water, cake flour and small amount of potato starch. I deep fried (350F vegetable oil) the pieces for a few minutes until they were cooked through and the crust was crispy and golden brown.

Sauce: I added honey (1tsp) and maple syrup (1/2 tsp) and water (2tbs) in a small frying pan over medium flame. After the honey and maple syrup blended, I added hot sauce (Sriracha). I added about 1/2 tsp but the amount is arbitrary and to taste. As the sauce reduced and thickened, I added the fried duck liver and gizzard and coated all the surfaces with the sauce (see the below picture).

This was quite good. The crust was very crispy and provided a nice crunch in contrast to the softness of the liver. Although the dish was a bit too sweet from the sauce, there was a nice slow heat from the Sriracha. The liver was good without any gamey flavor. I am sure I can do this with chicken livers. The gizzard was firm but added a nice contrast in texture to the liver. My wife usually does not like gizzard but this one she liked because of the thin slice. I may have to drizzle the sauce over the fried liver to make it less sweet next time.

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