Terrine of whole duck foie gras

Perhaps the simplest of recipes for foie gras, this terrine is also the preparation that best highlights the subtle flavor and luxurious texture of the liver.  However, nothing is disguised in this preparation so it is imperative that the best possible quality foie gras be used.  Suggestions for wine to accompany foie gras are many but my favorite is a sweet Jurancon from the Southwest of France.

Note that a terrine of foie gras is a must for any French Holiday Celebration.


1 Fresh Hudson Valley Foie Gras (appx 2.5#)
2 teaspoons pink salt
1/4 teaspoon fine ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup sweet wine, either tawny port or madeira


  1. Calibrate a stem thermometer: Iced water should read 32 degrees F and boiling water should read 212 deg F.
  2. Rinse the exterior of the foie gras to remove any blood. Put the foie gras into a large bowl, and add water at 60 deg F to cover by ½ inch. Add 1 t salt. Let stand 1.5 hour s.While the foie is soaking, carefully measure, grind and mix the spices.
  3. Drain the foie gras and pat dry with a towel. Place on a cutting board and carefully remove all fat, veins and discoloration without breaking apart the foie. Keep the lobes as complete as possible and reshape with any pieces that come off.
  4. Sprinkle the inside of the foie with ¾ of the spice mix. Reform the foie then sprinkle the outside with the rest of the mix.
  5. Line terrine with plastic film. Put the foie into a terrine with the smooth side down. Sprinkle the Madeira over the top, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  6. Heat the oven to 200 deg F. Heat water for a water bath to 180 deg F. Drain the wine from the terrine. Press firmly to fill the terrine and level the top. Cover with foil. Place a calibrated thermometer in the center of the terrine, using the foil for support.
  7. Put the terrine in a shallow pan that holds it with room to spare. Fill the pan with hot water to 1/2 the height of the terrine. Put the pan and terrine into the oven and cook until the internal temperature is 120 deg F. Remove from the BM, weight lightly, cool completely overnight.
  8. In the morning, remove the foie from the terrine, peel off the plastic, remove the fat from the top, level the top and return to the terrine that has been lined with new plastic. Melt the fat, then top the terrine with an even layer about 1/4” thick. Cool and unmold. Serve at room temperature. Cut with a hot knife.
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