Chicken terrine

Sat, Dec 8, 2012, 00:00

Cuisine: French

Course: Starter


Cooking time: 1 hour

I’m not sure what types of parties people have at home nowadays, but I doubt they are as planned or fancy as once upon a time. But what still remains with us all is a longing to get together, break bread and sit around a table to share everything from tears, laughter and fond memories to fights, fixes and plans for the future.

The terrine is tasty, even though I’m not a huge fan of terrines – except ham hock ones – nor a huge fan of liver. But I get their appeal and this really wasn’t too hard to make, despite a long list of ingredients. Quail are available to buy, boned, from most butchers, so they are an easy addition to a terrine to give good texture and balanced flavour. This really does need a good strong chutney to go with it, but this is definitely one thing that can be easily bought, rather than made, and makes a great accompaniment.


I made this two days in advance and used a 10cm x 30cm terrine dish. A loaf tin will also do if you’re stuck.


150g chicken livers

150ml milk

200g sliced Prosciutto or similar

100g butter

6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp allspice

3 tbsp brandy or sherry

Big bunch parsley and coriander

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

4 boned quail, cut into big chunks

500g boned chicken thighs with the skin on, chopped

4 chicken breasts, skinned and chopped

Few sprigs thyme

Rind of 1 lemon

175g shelled pistachio nuts

200g pork mince

1 egg

1 tbsp green peppercorns

50g breadcrumbs


Preheat an oven to 180 degrees/gas 4. Soak the chicken livers in the milk for 15 minutes, then drain and discard the milk. Line the terrine dish or loaf tin with the prosciutto so that the ends hang over enough to be able to cover the top of the terrine.

Melt half the butter and sauté the garlic and onion. Add the chicken livers and spices and cook on a high heat for a few minutes, then add the brandy and let it evaporate. When the mix is quite dry, pour out into a dish, add the herbs and set aside.

In the same frying pan, heat the other half of the butter and olive oil and sear the quail on high heat to get good colour on them. Season really well. Remove the quail and add to the chicken livers.

Keeping the heat high, fry the chicken thighs, allowing the fat on the skin to render down and colour well. Season really well and if there’s enough room, cook the chicken breast also, or else do another batch of butter with some oil and fry the rest of the chicken. A little colour would be great. Season well and put in the bowl with all the other ingredients. It’s important to season at each step, as you can’t taste this mixture as it has raw pork in it.

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