6 plucked thrushes, with their heads, which are, for true connoisseurs of this bird, the best part. Gut the birds or not according to taste. Personally I prefer not to
100g (3½oz) pork belly fat cut into little strips (lardons)
100g (3½oz) medium-sized black Niçoise olives
2cloves of garlic
1sprig of thyme
50g (1¾oz) flour
Vineyard, Thrushes Cooked with Olives
Stone the olives. Preheat the oven to 110°C/225°F/Mark ¼. Put the lardons and the olives in a small saucepan, and cover with 1litre (1¾pints) water. Bring to the boil and boil for 2 minutes, then refresh under a cold tap. Drain in a colander.
Crush the two cloves of garlic lightly and peel them. Season the thrushes with salt and pepper and arrange them in a terrine of a suitable size. Strew the olives and lardons (1) on the thrushes, then add the cloves of garlic, juniper berries, thyme, peppercorns, olive oil, cognac and 2tablespoons water. Cover the terrine. Mix the flour with 4tablespoons water in a bowl. Knead until you have a thick paste which sticks to the fingers. Seal the lid of the terrine in place with this paste and put it in the oven. Forget about it for 4 hours.
When the terrine is ready, take it to the table and remove the lid. Provence will greet you as you do so. Serve with a salad of curly endive and red radicchio trevisano, dressed with olive oil and wine vinegar.
red wine such as Bandol, Coteaux d’Aix or a Côtes du Rhône