Rabbit Terrine

Terrine de Lapin

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Simple French Food

By Richard Olney

Published 1974

  • About

Any small game, furred or feathered, may replace the rabbit in this recipe—with glorious results. The ham, although still welcomed by wild rabbit, pheasant, partridge, or wild duck, no longer plays an essential supporting role in relation to those flavors, all more distinctive than that of domesticated rabbit, and it could be replaced by a supplement of pork, veal, or the primary element. Rabbits have large livers; terrines made of game birds or duck need the addition of a couple of chicken livers.

Of domesticated breeds of ducks, the barbary duck or one of the sterile hybrids is the most interesting. Our dependence on freezers has all but wiped out, on the American market, any competition to the depressingly fat, deep-frozen Long Island ducks. They are, happily, serviceable in the fabrication of a terrine: All of the fat is contained in the skin itself or, loose, in the abdomen; the flesh is lean, but, once the skin has been peeled off and discarded, there is not much of it. Two ducks should be used to replace the rabbit in this recipe, the breasts being cut up, the legs and flesh scrapings chopped for the forcemeat, and the carcasses converted into a stock. The livers of deep-frozen Long Island ducks have an inexplicably strong and acrid taste and should be discarded, only chicken livers being used in the forcemeat.

The marination of game or duck is a question of personal taste; the bland flavor of domesticated rabbit can ill do without it, but I, personally, prefer not to marinate meats of more pronounced character. Any of these terrines will gain in depth by the addition of cut-up truffles or chopped truffle peelings. They should either be marinated with the meats or mixed with the basic forcemeat (eggs and Cognac added later) and refrigerated overnight, covered by plastic, to permit the maximum penetration of their perfume before cooking. If they are conserved, add their liquid to the stock while reducing it.

This recipe will fill 2 quart-sized terrines and will provide about 20 servings—or, perhaps, a great deal less if the guests are left to their own devices.