Duck terrine and ginger-plum salsa

Duck terrine and ginger-plum salsa


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About this recipe: The distinctive duck flavour of this terrine, heightened by the hint of orange, is perfectly complemented by the sweet leeks and fresh green beans. A small amount of duck fat is included, but there is still much less fat than would be found in a traditional recipe. This terrine will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Norma MacMillan

Serves: 8 

  • 300 g (10½ oz) boneless breasts
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 400 g (14 oz) leeks, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 orange
  • a few fresh bay leaves
  • 55 g (2 oz) French beans, trimmed
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • salt and pepper
  • orange slices or segments to garnish
  • Ginger-plum salsa
  • 450 g (1 lb) ripe dessert plums, stoned and finely chopped
  • 1 piece preserved stem ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • freshly grated nutmeg

Prep:30min  ›  Cook:2hr  ›  Ready in:2hr30min 

  1. Remove the skin and fat from the duck breasts. Reserve 30 g (1 oz) of the fat, and discard the remainder together with the skin. Chop the meat. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a moderate heat. Stir in the leeks and garlic, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). Line the bottom of a 450 g (1 lb) loaf tin with greaseproof paper. Finely grate the zest from the orange and set aside. Peel the orange, then cut half of it into slices; chop the other half and keep for the salsa. Decoratively arrange the bay leaves and orange slices on the bottom of the tin. Set aside.
  4. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add the beans and, when the water returns to the boil, blanch for 2 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Pat dry and set aside.
  5. Place the chopped duck breasts, reserved duck fat, orange zest, thyme and brandy in a food processor and pulse until well blended to a paste-like consistency. When the leeks have finished cooking, add them to the processor and pulse again once or twice, but do not blend them in too much. Season with a little salt and pepper.
  6. Spoon half of the duck mixture into the prepared loaf tin, taking care not to disturb the orange slices and bay leaves. Pack down and smooth the surface. Arrange the beans in a single layer on top, laying them lengthways. Top with the remaining duck mixture and smooth the surface.
  7. Cover the loaf tin with foil. Place it in a roasting tin and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up the side of the loaf tin. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the juices run clear when the terrine is pierced with a knife.
  8. Remove the loaf tin from the roasting tin. Place a piece of card, cut to fit, directly on top of the terrine and weight it down. Leave until cold, then chill for at least 12 hours.
  9. To make the salsa, put the plums into a bowl with the ginger, orange juice and nutmeg to taste. Add the reserved chopped orange. Cover and chill until 15 minutes before serving.
  10. To serve, run a round-bladed knife down the sides of the terrine, then invert it onto a serving platter. Peel off the lining paper. Allow the terrine to come to room temperature before cutting into slices. Serve each slice of terrine garnished with orange and accompanied with a portion of salsa and toast or French bread.

Some more ideas

For a spicier salsa, replace the ginger with 1 fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped, or to taste. Instead of the nutmeg, add 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander just before serving. * A delicious citrus salsa, packed with vitamin C, can be made by mixing 1 large grapefruit and 1 large orange, both peeled and finely chopped, with 2 spring onions, very finely chopped, 1 fresh green chilli, seeded and finely chopped, and 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander or parsley. * To make a chicken terrine, replace the duck breasts with skinless boneless chicken thighs and use 30 g (1 oz) rindless streaky bacon instead of the duck fat. This terrine is very good with the citrus salsa above.

Plus points

The plums and orange juice in the salsa provide vitamin C, which helps to increase the absorption of iron from the duck. * This terrine is an excellent source of vitamin B12, important for the formation of red blood cells. It is also low in fat, most of which is unsaturated.

Each serving provides

B12, B6, C, A, B1, folate, copper, iron, potassium

Total Time

30 minutes, plus cooling and at least 12 hours chilling

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