Duck and Apricot Terrine
serves: 15-20 people
I just turned 30! To celebrate, I decided to throw myself a big, five course, dinner party. I shared our aperitif course yesterday. We made delicious 1789 cocktails and paired them some amazing Olive Crisps served with a Green Olive and Almond Tapenade with some Anchovy for extra flavor and some creamy, and delicious Riclettes de Sardines.
The second course in our meal was the entree course. In France, unlike America, entree does not mean the main meal, but in fact means appetizer…a course that follows an aperitif of drinks and little snacks.
For me, this meal was an opportunity to indulge in some of my favorite things! I am turning 30 after-all…so Escargot was a must for this meal, and so was beef wellington! I couldn’t quite afford to serve foie gras to 16 guests, so I decided to create a terrine paired with a delicious shallot jam. The terrine’s single most important ingredient is the chicken livers, which my friend Anwar (who runs International Grocery and Halal Meats Inc. on 33rd and Greenmount – go there it is amazing!) has been saving for me for a few weeks! The livers mixed with pork, chicken, and duck, create an amazingly complex flavor. The mustard and cornichon juice give it a bit of an extra kick!
I pair the terrine with a shallot jam sweetened with a bit of sugar and honey and some golden raisins re-hydrated in cognac. The sweetness is balanced by a bit of vinegar and red wine. I have used the combination of onion, vinegar, and raisin before, and I love it!
No French meal is complete without a Cheese Course, which we followed with a round of Cannelés Bordelais and a 3 Tier Vanilla Cake with Raspberry Filling and Cream Cheese Frosting.
Happy Birthday to me!
- 3/4 cup dried apricots
- 1/3 cup brandy or cognac
- 10-12 oz boneless, skinless duck meat, 3/4 inch chunks (you can use chicken if you can’t find any)
- 6 ounces thick cut bacon, cubed
- 8 ounces chicken/duck liver
- 1 1/2-1 3/4 pound fatty ground pork
- 3-4 shallots, minced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 3/4 teaspoon allspice, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- ground pepper to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup cornishons, minced
- 1/4 cup juice from cornichon jar
- shallot jam:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 10-12 shallots, sliced
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons honey
- 1/3 cup red or white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup golden raisins, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup brandy or cognac
- 1 cup dry red wine
- Combine apricots and brandy in a small pot and simmer. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grind up livers in food processor.
Add duck and bacon. Process until almost a smooth paste, but a bit chunky.
- In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients.
- Place in a 9 inch loaf pan, it will barely fit! If it doesn’t fitm add a bit to another oven safe dish.
Cover with a piece of parchment, then wrap up in aluminum foil. This will keep your terrine moist and prevent the top from crisping up.
- Place the covered terrine in a large pan and fill it up with water halfway up the loaf pan.
- Bake for 90 minutes.
Check for center to reach 160°F.
- Pour out water and allow to cool.
I wanted a flat surface so I placed a large Dutch oven on top of the foil wrapped terrine and allowed the juices to flow out the sides of the dish a bit.
I collected them and added them to the shallot jam.
- For the shallot jam: Heat some olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté shallots for 10 minutes or so, until softened, translucent, and glossy. Stir regularly.
- Season with salt and pepper.
Add sugar, honey, vinegar, and wine. Cook for about 10 more minutes until syrupy and most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Meanwhile, cook raisins and brandy for about 3 minutes. Add to the shallot mixture.
- Continue simmering until the shallots are a jammy consistency, maybe 5 minutes more. Stir regularly to avoid burning.
- Serve terrine chilled with the chilled shallot jam on the side. Serve with a baguette or olive crisps. The terrine should be made at least one day in advance and will keep upwards of a week in the fridge.