Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Duck and Orange Terrine

I sometimes do crazy things. Okay, all the time. Husband just shakes his head and shrugs. I set two appointments for the youngest 2 kids on the same day...at different times. The Dr.'s office is not that near so I had to drive and grapple with the traffic twice in a day. I dunno...it gets nutty around here. I get nutty. I thought it would be good to get it all done the Tuesday before Thanksgiving when the school load tends to be lighter. To decompress I decided to make an appetizer for our Thanksgiving meal, which requires advanced marinating, prepping and cooking, and "soaking" to render the best flavors.

I want to prove that a Filipina mama can cook this just as well as the next French mama... The goal is to get from bird to terrine. I just need to read the recipe thru over and over, get the ingredients, and make what is essentially a fancy... meat loaf. This recipe is from the manual that went with the terrine.

Skin the duck carefully (reserve for crackling chicharones), cut the breast fillets in 2 large pieces, separate as much meat as you can from the bones and set aside in a glass dish. Put the giblets and liver in too. Splash 2 tbsp. of cognac and 3 tbsp. of orange juice. Scatter thyme and sage leaves and then mix. Marinate at least 3 hours.

It is so gratifying to see the late season herbs we still have, looking unperturbed from the ice last night.

Put the duck carcass,giblets, and bones from legs and wings in to a stock pot w/ 10 peppercorns, a bay leaf, a bouquet garni of your favorite herbs (I used thyme, sage, and a sprig of rosemary),salt, and simmer for at least 30 minutes, enough to reduce stock to about 1 cup. Brown the duck breast fillets and the duck liver. Set aside to cool. Saute 3 garlic cloves and 1 medium onion over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add 5 tbsp. of reduced stock and bring to a gentle boil. Strain and let cool. Mix chopped up duck pieces from marinade, 12 oz. of ground pork,1 tbsp of grated orange zest, one egg, reduced stock, and 1 tsp of salt. (I skipped the cloves and allspice, we don't get along...)

Arrange thick bacon slices across the bottom of terrine pan. Fill half the meat mixture over bacon; put the browned duck fillets across, and hard boiled quail eggs (or quartered chicken eggs) and cashews (or pistachios); add the rest of the meat; arrange orange slices, sage and thyme over, then fold over the bacon across the top of the meat mixture, then cover tightly w/ the lid.

Set terrine over a water bath and bake in preheated 300F oven for about 1 and a half hours or more until meat registers about 160F or until juices run clear.

Set terrine over a rack and press a heavy weight on top of lid (I used my marble mortar) and let cool.

Store in refrigerator at least 48 hours before serving. Unmold, slice thinly and serve over toast points.