Author Richard Olney inspired this luxurious terrine.
- 2 (1 1⁄2-lb.) mallard ducks
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup cognac
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 sprigs fresh parsley
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and halved
- 1 carrot, peeled and halved
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 1⁄2 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 1 lb. fatback (ask butcher to slice into thin sheets for a terrine)
- 1⁄4 lb. ground veal
- 1⁄4 lb. ground pork
- 1 egg
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground juniper berries
- 1⁄4 lb. pistachios, shelled
- 1⁄4 lb. foie gras, cut into 3 2" pieces
Rinse ducks and pat dry. Remove skin, then remove meat, setting leg meat and bones aside. Cut breast meat into 1⁄2" strips, season with salt and pepper, and place in a bowl with oil, cognac, and 2 sprigs each of the thyme and parsley. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours.
For broth, place duck bones, onions, carrots, remaining thyme and parsley, 1⁄2 tsp. salt, and 4 cups water in a saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium, and simmer until reduced to 1⁄2 cup, about 1 1⁄4 hours. Strain.
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix broth, garlic, and bread crumbs in a small bowl to make a paste. Finely chop reserved leg meat and place in a medium bowl. Chop enough fatback to make 1⁄3 cup, then add to leg meat with bread paste, veal, pork, egg, nutmeg, juniper berries, pistachios, and 1 tbsp. salt. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
Cut 1 sheet of fatback into 3 small pieces, then use each to individually wrap foie gras. Line a 1 1⁄2-quart terrine with remaining fatback, allowing a 2" overhang. Spoon half the meat mixture into terrine. Lay half the strips of marinated breast meat on top, then place wrapped foie gras in the center. Top with remaining breast meat, then with remaining meat mixture. Fold over fatback to enclose. Cover, place in a pan and add enough hot water to come halfway up the side. Cook in oven until juices run clear, about 1 1⁄4 hours. Cool. Pour off juices.
Cut a piece of cardboard to fit into terrine. Wrap cardboard in aluminum foil, place in terrine, and weigh down with a few cans. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Remove cardboard lid, run a thin knife under warm water, then slide around edge of terrine. Invert onto a platter. Serve chilled. (Store in refrigerator for up to one week.)