Duck Country Pâté

West Wines

1000 Dry Creek Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448

Serve this duck country pâté as an appetizer with cornichons, cranberry-orange sauce and a crusty baguette.

  • 2 duck breasts, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3/4 cup cognac or port
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 shallots, minced
  • 1/2 pound fatback or bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice and finely chopped
  • 1/2 pound chicken livers, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 8 bay leaves
  • 12 bacon slices
  • Cornichons for serving
  • Cranberry-orange sauce and/or Dijon mustard for serving
  • Baguette or brioche for serving
In a bowl, combine the duck breasts, cognac and garlic. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 day.

In a frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the fatback, chicken livers, and the duck breast-cognac mixture. Add the shallots, eggs, thyme, cloves, nutmeg, salt, pepper and pistachios. Mix the ingredients thoroughly with your hands.

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Place 4 of the bay leaves, with the green side down, in a 1 1/2-quart rectangular terrine or loaf pan. Line the pan with 12 bacon slices, placing them across the pan so the ends hang over the pan sides. Reserve 3 bacon slices to put on top.

Spoon in the pâté mixture into the terrine, pressing it in with your hands. Place the reserved 3 bacon slices lengthwise on top and fold over the ends of the overhanging bacon slices. Place the remaining 4 bay leaves on top and cover the terrine tightly with aluminum foil.

Put the terrine in a large baking dish and place on the middle rack in the oven. Pour boiling water into the baking dish to reach halfway up the sides of the terrine. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the pâté registers 160°F, about 2 hours.

Remove from the oven, weight down the terrine and let cool for 1 hour. (This will make the terrine more compact and easy to slice.) You can cut a piece of cardboard that fits just inside the terrine and place soup cans on top. Then refrigerate the pâté for at least 8 hours. 

To serve, place a 3/4-inch slice of pâté on each plate and accompany with a few cornichons, cranberry-orange sauce and/or mustard and bread. 

West Wines

1000 Dry Creek Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448