Sauteed duck livers with marsala, pancetta and crostini

Sautéed duck liver with marsala, pancetta and crostini was the origional recipe. But last night it changed to duck breast and smashed livers on toast with bacon, midnight herbs and the last of Jen’s red wine.

My cousin AJ did a bit of dish piggin’ for me to earn a little extra cash on his way around Australia in 2005.

Two years later he’d been from kitchen hand to chef to would be waiter to the most annoying person floor staff could ever work with* to my sous chef to duck farmer.

Yep, AJ is a confused lad.

When he set about killing one of his first batches of ducks he asked if I would like to partake… sounds good. I’d always wanted to know how to prep a bird from start to finish.

So we killed the ducks, gutted & plucked them and then sat down to a huge meal of still warm sautéed livers, kidneys and hearts, salty with pancetta, boozey with marsala and just damn fine.

The liver were my favourite, but feel free to include whatever you like.

And tonight we reinact that fateful day…. Venturing into the offal wilderness. Apprehensive? Kinda scared?…not me! I’m know we’ll be okay…

A few of the ingedients have changed according to what we have on hand, and I think we may have consumed a fair bit more alcohol, bu the general feeling is the same.

Viva la liver!

I think I’ll call this one ‘still life with livers’


5-6 duck livers, cleaned of sinew

2 duck breast

1 brown onion, sliced

2 rashers bacon, sliced

1 cup red wine, or marsala would be good

a splash of cream would’ve been nice

a handul of whatever herbs you can pick by phone-light, I ended up with thyme, parsley and rocket.

Good bread from the market

  • Cook the duck breast according to my post on how to cook duck. Set aside.
  • Tip most of the rendered duck fat out of the pan and add a knob of butter. When it starts to foam add the seasoned livers. Fry for 1 minute eah side. They should still be pink in the middle. Remove livers and set aside.
  • Make bread into toast. Set aside.
  • In the same pan saute onion and bacon. When starting to colour deglaze with red wine. Reduce to a saucey little trollop… er… I mean saucey consistancy. Add the herbs and check seasoning.
  • Squash the livers onto the toast, slice the breast and pile onto the livers, top with th ebacon and herb jobbie, and there you have it. A meal that could be refined and served as a nice entrée, or piled up and eaten by drunkards at any time of the day or night.

And believe me, the more you drink, the more livers you want…

*he made a sport out of actually trying to make floor staff go crazy..

9 responses to “Sauteed duck livers with marsala, pancetta and crostini”

  1. Dude, did anyone see the Kitchen Nightmares where the Danish couple had rotten duck and served it to like 10 customers? This somehow reminded me of that episode. By the way, I like how you spared us from photos of the actual duck killing. Thanks.

  2. So thats where my damn wine went…bastards!!!!
    And would I be correct in assuming that you were drunk when writing this post… or are you just a really bad speller!!!!! Do I need to get Gitana in on this one???

  3. Are u kidding? Ultimate “post spliff, it’s one in the morning, and I’ve just opened another bottle of wine” food. Ur mental

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