21 November 2012

Terrine de canard : assembly

It's now day two of the terrine-making process. The seasoned meat mixture has been marinating in the refrigerator overnight. It's time to take it out and layer it with the duck breast strips in the actual terrine for cooking.

While the meat marinated in the fridge, a couple of ounces of dried mushrooms have been soaking in white wine overnight. At this point, they need to come out of the wine — save it! — and get finely chopped.

I used about half boletus (cèpes) and half shiitake mushrooms. The finely chopped mushrooms are mixed into the meat farce before it's all put into the terrine. Lift them out of the liquid with your fingers — don't pour them out. There may be some sand or grit in the bottom of the container.

When I cut the breast filets off the duck carcass, I tried to be careful to save big pieces of skin that I could use to line the baking dish. Here it is all spread out and ready to be trimmed into the shapes that I need.
I also bought some thinly sliced lard gras (fatback) from the butcher when he came by last week. It was good that I did, because there wasn't enough duck skin to completely line the terrine. The skin and lard (which is not lard in the American sense) serve two purposes: they keep the meat mixture from sticking to the baking dish, and they render fat that flavors the meat and keeps it from drying out.

Half of the seasoned meat mixture goes into the bottom of the lined terrine.

The strips of duck breast meat form the next layer of meat in the dish.

The rest of the meat mixture goes in. Any strips of fat or duck skin that stick up above the top of the mixture just get folded over. I had three strips of duck skin left over, so I stretched them over the top.

Finally, Walt and I topped the terrine with some bay leaves from our back yard tree. We slid them under the strips of duck skin. Then we sliced up a few shallots and arranged them on top as well. The terrine is almost ready to go into the oven.

This post is Part 3 of the Terrine de canard series. Here are links to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 4, and Part 5.


  1. What a fascinating process this is! The Bay leaves are especially a surprise to me.

  2. The mixture fits perfectly in your terrine dish-I always have a problem figuring out what dish to use. Tomorrow we'll see the finished product, yay!

  3. Il y a quelqu'un dans le nord de la Virginie dont les papilles vont se régaler virtuellement LOL!!!

    bonjour Cousin


    Awaiting to see the end result. You must have enjoyed going through the whole process and tomorrow you will get to taste your achievement :-)

  4. Hi Evelyn, I put the mixture into a one-liter measuring cup to see how much there was. Actually, it measured out to be 1.5 liters, so I chose a big enough baking dish (2 liers) by also measuring water and pouring it in to be sure.

    Kristi, the finished terrine smells much more of shallot that of bay leaf, but I put bay leaves in almost everything because we have a big tree out in the yard and I love the flavor.

  5. Beaver, you are right. I hope it is good enough to serve to our friends as part of our unconventional Thanksgiving dinner.

  6. I love the Classic baking dish too!!! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!!!

  7. Ah, what a good idea to measure beforehand- no eyeballing like I do!

  8. Ken

    Q: Do you use fresh bay leaves or do you let then dry before using them?
    Reason : I have a small plant in a container that I bring inside during the fall

    Thank you

  9. The Beaver, you can use the bay leaves either fresh or dried. I usually have dried ones in the house. Otherwise, I have to walk out to the back of the yard, in whatever weather we might be having, to pick a few fresh leaves. Either way, they are good.

  10. Sometime in the 80s, I think, there was a New York Times supplement around Thanksgiving which was written by an American woman, ex-pat, living in France and she shared her Thanksgiving menu. It was not a traditional American one, nor especially French. I will have to try to see if I still have it somewhere. I just remember the dessert was a custardy pie flavored with Earl Grey tea. She made it sound much better than this description.

    I suspect your dinner will be better.


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