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FAQs about duck liver
Fresh duck livers should be bright red or deep pink, never pale or yellow. Duck livers should smell fresh and feel firm to the touch. Avoid livers that have dark spots, smell stale, or feel mushy.
Duck livers that have been enlarged through a feeding process known as "gavage" are referred to as "foie gras." The ancient Egyptians first used this process and took advantage of ducks' natural ability to store extra fat in their livers before migration. Most of the foie gras sold in supermarkets is produced by feeding ducks a special corn-based diet that causes fat to accumulate on the liver, enlarging it up to ten times its normal size. This process also makes a duck liver smoother, fattier, and tastier.
Pate de foie gras is a smooth spread made from white wine and foie gras. It can be eaten hold or cold or used to make a variety of traditional sauces and mouses.
Duck livers are quite perishable. Store your fresh duck livers in the coldest part of your refrigerator as soon as you return home from the store. Stored properly, duck livers will remain fresh for one to two days. You can also freeze duck livers in an airtight freezer-safe plastic bag for two to four months.
Cooked duck livers and pate should be stored in your refrigerator and used within a few days.