Terrine de Canard aux Pruneaux et a l'Armagnac
Duck Terrine with Prunes and Armagnac
In honor of the upcoming Prune Blogging Thursday, hosted by David Lebovitz, I give to you a recipe I learned at school last month for Terrine de Canard aux Pruneaux et a l'Armagnac, Duck Terrine with Prunes and Armagnac.
This terrine is a time-consuming process, I won't lie. But you can derive such pleasure from grinding and mixing meat, feeling the different textures that go together. It's also guaranteed to wow your guests should you serve it at a dinner party. Plus, you can make this far in advance, as it is a dish that gets better with time
And the taste? Terrine heaven. Fourspice gives unexpected hits of complexity and spiciness. Going along with the theme, the prunes add just the right amount of texture and sweetness to contrast with all the heavy richness from the meats. Armagnac and prunes are such a classic combination, but I love how they're an unexpected surprise in an otherwise traditional duck terrine. And see the lovely color contrast they offer?
I didn't include instructions for the serving platter and garnish shown in the photos - that would stretch on for another page and were done by my amusing chef, so email me if you'd like them. Anyway, they aren't really palatable - the terrine is the star. The ingredient list is based on the recipe I was given, with a slight reduction in salt, and the instructions are my own personal notes.
Duck Terrine with Prunes & Armagnac
Terrine de Canard Aux Pruneaux et a l'Armagnac
Required: 1 terrine mold, 1-1.5 kg, food processor or meat grinder, additional terrine mold or weight that's the same size as the terrine dish (see Step 11 when Cooking Terrine)
1 x 1.5 kg duck
200 g dried prunes
armagnac, Port wine
duck or goose fat
200 g chicken livers + liver from above duck
2 shallots, medium size, minced
400 g duck leg meat (from above duck)
200 g pork neck meat
200 g pork shoulder meat
50 g pork fat
18 g salt
2 g pepper
2 g fourspice (equal quantities of nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, pepper)
2 curly parsley stalks, minced (leaves & stems)
sheets of fatback (optional)
2 or 3 bay leaves
- Macerate prunes in armagnac.
- Portion the duck: remove breasts & legs. Keep liver but discard the bile. Reserve liver for forcemeat.
- Discard carcass. Debone & remove skin from breasts and legs. Reserve legs for forcemeat.
- Lightly sear duck breasts in duck or goose fat. Season when seared.
- Place duck breasts in refrigerator to cool- reserve and do not grind into the forcemeat.
- Sear chicken & duck livers in duck or goose fat. Season when seared.
- Lightly brown shallots in leftover goose fat in pan, mix in with the livers.
- Drizzle a little prune liquid and port on the livers.
- Season livers with a pinch of thyme, refrigerate until cool.
- When all the meats (except seared duck breasts) are cool, grind. Include the juices from the livers.
- Mix ground meats together and season with salt, pepper, four spice, and a small drop of cognac. Mix together by hand.
- Add parsley, mix, cover and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 210° C.
- Line terrine dish with fatback, including the sides. Let some drape over the sides to cover the top when terrine dish is filled.
- Slice duck breasts into finger length pieces.
- Pack 1/2 of the forcemeat into terrine dish.
- Lay duck breast slices down the slides, prunes down the middle.
- Cover with remaining forcemeat.
- Top with any extra duck breast slices.
- Fold fat over, tucking bay leaves & sprinkling thyme under the flaps.
- Cover terrine dish tightly in aluminum foil and bake in a bain marie for 1 hour.
- Lower oven to 160° C and bake for an additional 2 hours. Add water to the bain marie as necessary.
- After baking, remove from bain marie and press another container that's the same size as the terrine dish directly onto the foil to compress the terrine.
- Let cool, then refrigerate (the longer the better, up to 2 weeks according to my chef).
- Remove foil. Run thin knife along the inside of the mold.
- Unmold onto a large sheet of plastic wrap.
- Trim off excess jelly or fat from the outside if desired.
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
- Cut into slices and place on a serving platter.