Years ago I cut out a recipe from a newspaper for a marvellous looking Duck and Pistachio Terrine. This would be the weekend that I would finally get down to making it.A few simple salads, some crusty bread, what could be better?
The recipe required a boned duck so with a list of ingredients I went off to the butcher. No duck. They had breasts and legs but no whole ducks so I ended up getting all the ingredients including a whole duck from the supermarket and went home to de-bone the duck myself.
Its been a while since I boned out a bird so it took sometime boning then removing all the fat and sinews and finely chopping and slicing the meat. The recipe then required me to make a stock from the bones and cook it for at least 3 hours to develop a rich ducky flavour.
After much faffing around and some 24hours later I finally had my Duck Terrine. I unwrapped the foil and placed it on a board. The moment had come; would it look as good as the one in the picture? More importantly would it taste as it good as it looked? And was it really worth the day and a half hassle in making it?
Quite frankly it wasn’t! It didn’t look too bad and to be fair tasted quite good- but really? Thirty hours to wait for this? I don’t think so. What was good however was the wonderful Chicken Liver Pate that I made from the leftover chicken livers. This was truly scrumptious, took only a few minutes to make and was devoured in a flash!
Recipe for Chicken Liver Pate
400g chicken livers any veins removed
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
3-4 sprigs of thyme and oregano
5floz 142ml double cream
A little knob of butter.
In a frying pan sweat the onions in the butter for 2-3 minutes until they start to soften then add the garlic and cook for another minute (careful not to let the garlic burn). Add the chicken livers and fry for another 3-4 minutes till the livers are cooked (they should still have a little softness to them but not raw!)
Add the brandy and flambé the alcohol away. Remove the pan from the heat and place the mixture in a magimix or blender. Season well with salt and pepper. Pulse the mixture a few times then add the cream slowly and blend till the mixture is smooth. Place the mixture in a jar or in small ramekins if you prefer.
Melt a little butter (about 20z) slowly then carefully skim off any of the milk solids leaving behind the clear clarified butter. Pour this over the pate and leave the pate to chill for at least an hour or two in the fridge. Over night is even better as the flavours improve over time.
We also had Fennel and celery heart salad with lemon zest mozzarella and Parmesan
Bean Bacon and Hazelnut salad.
This was washed down with a bottle of Italian white, (one of my simple favourites, Zuani) and a bottle of red Burgundy. Not bad for a Sunday lunch!