It seems I’m getting into some sort of rhythm with DATW (it must suggest too much free time, which can’t be a good sign) so I’m going to try to keep the momentum going. I’m still a country mile away from the 500 views in one day that I set out to achieve back in January, but it’s been fun failing to get there.
Anyway – the other day my friend Eve told me that I should put up a few things for Christmas, which I think is a great idea. So I’m going to start with something that I did a few years ago and I think works really well in the lead-up to Christmas, or as an antidote to cold turkey. One thing though – you do need to have a lot of hefty meat eaters in the vicinity – this isn’t something you can get through on your own in a hurry…
Winter terrine with duck and chicken
This takes a little work, but it’s so good and certainly worth it if you’re a full-on carnivore.
Start with the duck, as this takes the longest time: take four duck legs, sprinkle them with salt and pepper and then cook them in a warm oven (150c) for two hours covered in foil – this will essentially confit them, making them beautifully tender. Once done, pull the duck meat from the legs with your fingers – leaving them in little pieces, and put them aside.
While the duck is cooking, you can do the rest. Firstly, make the forcemeat (which helps bind the terrine while keeping the duck and chicken from drying out) by taking a bowl and putting in 500g good quality sausagemeat, a few chicken livers (chopped), two handfuls of white breadcrumbs, half a red chilli and two cloves of garlic, finely chopped, a good glug of olive oil, vermouth and brandy, an egg and a handful each of parsley and thyme along with 4 juniper berries ground down with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
Next fry four chicken thighs (skin removed) in butter and oil until golden brown, and almost cooked, and as with the duck, remove them from the bone, cut into strips and set aside.
Now, take a rectangular loaf tin and line the bottom and sides with slices of good streaky bacon so that they will wrap around the terrine. Into the bottom of the tin put a layer of the forcemeat, then a layer of the duck (with some of the juices from the roasting tin, but not too much of the fat), then another layer of forcemeat, then a layer of the chicken thighs (again with their juices), then a final layer of forcemeat and then finally wrap around the edges of the bacon strips. now press it all down and place foil over the top.
Cook the terrine in a bain marie (roasting tin half filled with water) in a warm oven (160c) for 2 hours. Then take it out and let it cool fully before putting it in the fridge. There are loads of juices in there which will set into a lovely jelly, but you have to let them cool fully – I made the mistake of taking the terrine out too soon and they went everywhere – precious precious juices…
That’s it – take the terrine out of the tin and serve with a really good chutney, bread, salad, cheese, etc.
(by the way, If you wish, you can substitute the chicken and duck for any game you like – rabbit, pheasant, partridge etc)
Chilli fig chutney
I did this is Spain earlier in the year with figs from my mothers garden and it goes perfectly with cheese and cold meats and especially the terrine. Start by cutting about 20 figs into quarters, or eighths (keeping the skins on). Then take two large onions, five cloves of garlic, an inch of fresh ginger and a whole red chilli (or two if you’re in a dangerous mood), chop them and fry them just for a few minutes in olive oil. Put them in a saucepan with the figs along with about 200-300g sugar, 500ml of red wine vinegar, seasoning and a sprinkling of (freshly) ground coriander and cumin seeds. Let it boil away for 5-7 minutes until the figs are just cooked, then remove the figs and continue to reduce the liquid for another 10 minutes or so, until it takes on the thickness of double cream. While you’re doing this, taste the liquid and adjust for sweetness and seasoning. Replace the figs, and then decant the whole lot into sterilised jars. You can use it pretty much straight away, but of course it gets better with age.