Gateau de foie de volaille (smooth chicken liver terrine)

This recipe was inspired by a classic Paul Bocuse dish.  In his version, he bakes the gateau in individual ramekins, then serves it warm with crayfish cream.  I was interested in developing a really good smooth liver terrine, so I adapted his recipe by trial and error to arrive at this final result.  It is one of the most popular dishes at both Le Pichet and Cafe Presse.

Makes One 7 cup terrine

Gateau aux foies de volaille


  • 1lb chicken livers (fresh)
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 eggs (large)
  • 1 1/2 cup madeira
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 piece dried orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put the Madeira, peppercorns, bay leaf and orange peel in a small saucepan. Reduce over high heat until only about 1/4 cup of liquid remains. Strain and cool.
2. While the Madeira is reducing, put the livers into the work bowl of the food processor and process until smooth. Pass the liver purée though a drum sieve and into a large mixing bowl. Put the eggs and cream into the unwashed processor bowl and pulse until well mixed. Pass this mixture through the drum sieve into the liver purée. Mix in the salt, sugar and cooled reduction.
3. Line a loaf pan with plastic film. Fill the loaf pan with the liver mixture. Bake the gateau in a water bath until just set in the center. This should take about 30 minutes. Remove the gateau from the water bath and cool completely.
4. Turn the cooled gateau onto a serving plate and unmold. Remove the plastic and cut with a hot knife. Serve with crusty bread, mustards and cornichons.


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