Chef's Recipes

Mark Best: Sautéed duck livers with a fresh raisin, witlof and kipfler salad

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for sautéed duck livers with a fresh raisin, witlof and kipfler salad by Mark Best.

By Mark Best
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 15 mins cooking plus soaking, cooling
  • Serves 6
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Mark Best: Sautéed duck livers with a fresh raisin, witlof and kipfler salad
This dish lives or dies on the quality of the livers. They need to be fresh out of the bird and undamaged. The gall bladder, a small dark green gland attached to the liver, must be removed with nimble fingers and the point of a small, very sharp knife. Chicken or milk-fed veal livers of a similar quality can be substituted. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.


  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk
  • 12 large duck livers, trimmed
  • 6 kipfler potatoes, scrubbed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 each fresh bay leaf and thyme sprig
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp aged sherry vinegar
  • 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 red witlof, trimmed, leaves separated
  • Pinch of ground star anise
  • 80 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 230 gm red grapes (about 1 bunch), peeled


  • 1
    Combine milk and livers in a non-reactive dish and refrigerate overnight to remove any blood or bile, then drain (discard milk) and pat livers dry with absorbent paper. Set aside.
  • 2
    Place kipflers in a saucepan with garlic and herbs. Cover completely with cold water, bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until just tender (8-10 minutes). Set aside to cool in cooking water.
  • 3
    Combine mustard and half the sherry vinegar in a bowl, season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground white pepper, then gradually whisk in olive oil until emulsified. Drain, peel and thickly slice reserved kipflers, combine with vinaigrette. Before serving, add witlof, toss lightly to combine, season to taste.
  • 4
    Season liver to taste with sea salt, freshly ground white pepper and star anise. Heat a large cast-iron frying pan over high heat. Add butter and then, when foaming, add liver and sauté until beginning to caramelise (30-40 seconds). Turn and cook until rare to medium-rare (1 minute), then add grapes and cook until warmed through (1 minute). Remove pan from heat, pour off half the butter, add remaining vinegar, reduce until evaporated.
  • 5
    Divide potato and witlof among plates, top with livers, scatter with grapes, drizzle with remaining pan juices, serve immediately.


This recipe is from the September 2009 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
Drink Suggestion: Appellation-controlled Chablis. You need the classic seesaw of chalk and green apple, coated with a lanolin-like feel in the mouth. Drink suggestion by Max Allen

  • Author: Mark Best