I have always hated the taste of liver. Calf’s liver, chicken liver, liverwurst, any kind of pâté that contains even a small amount of liver—for me, the taste is repulsive. I was once served a rabbit’s liver at a family meal in Italy, the prize morsel that is offered to guests; I choked it down with an unconvincing “Grazie.” I never imagined I would come to like a specific kind of liver enough to prepare it myself at home, much less to spend six weeks with an artisan foie gras producer in Southwestern France learning how to produce it from scratch, starting with a live duck.

My journey to the foie gras farm began years earlier with magret de canard, a dish I ordered from the menu du jour in a Parisian restaurant in 2008 without knowing what it...

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