Et pourquoi pas pour Pâques? Terrine de canard aux pistaches et cognac à la compote de figues


Being far away from my family, I wanted to have a traditional Easter lunch party, so as every year I invited some friends to celebrate Easter. Not that I am that religious but I think when you are far away from your country and family you try to get closer to people and try to get back to your roots.

I am not a big meat eater and think I am on the verge of becoming vegetarian but most of my friends are French and as many French people, are big meat eaters. Instead of making a fish or sea food terrine that I found delicious, I figured I would make everyone happy by making a traditional duck terrine. Terrines are very practical, they are made the night before, or even a couple of days ahead so you don’t have to rush the day of the party. They’re great for buffet as well, and very tasty.

This terrine was quite flavorful and lean.  As a little sweet twist, I served it with dried fig chutney, with no sugar addition. Duck and figs are a perfect match and the little sweetness of the chutney enhanced the natural flavor of the duck.

You can find duck at Whole Foods, there is a large selection of duck breasts, legs ad whole ducks.

Ingredients for 8-10 people

For the terrine

  • 2 lbs duck meat
  • lb pork meat
  • 1/2 lb chicken livers
  • 3 tbs pistachios
  • 3 tbs Cognac
  • 1 egg
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp all spices
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 tbs salt
  • pepper

For the fig chutney

  • 1 lb dried figs
  • a little water

Soak figs in water for about two hours to rehydrate them. Chop them and cook in a little water for about 20 minutes. Cool and place in a air-tight container for future use.


Remove duck skin from whole duck or breasts and set aside. Cut all the meats in pieces and grind to a medium consistency. Leave 2 or 3 chicken livers for the end. Place ground meat in a mixing bowl and add all ingredients (except bay leaves and rosemary). Mix well to get a smooth and homogenous mixture.

In a terrine clay dish or a Pyrex dish would work if you don’t have a terrine dish, place half of the meat mixture, add livers in the middle. Add the rest of the mixture. At the end, cover with duck skin, add bay leaves, and rosemary. Cover with lid. If using pyrex dish, cover tightly with aluminim foil not to let any air get in.

Place terrine in a tray filled with water and cook in the oven at 360F for about 2 hours. Let cool and place in the refrigerator for at least two days.  Serve with fig chutney.