Chicken Liver Terrine

Terrine de Foies de Volailles

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • servings:

    8 to 10

Appears in

Simple French Food

By Richard Olney

Published 1974

  • About

It was the beauty of a terrine Chez-Barrier in Tours that launched me on the series of experiments that have resulted in this recipe—totally different, however, from M. Barrier’s. His, which he calls a mousse, contains, I suspect, proportionately more cream and egg and certainly no marrow (another fatty substance—probably grated pork fat—is surely present). It also contains dried currants, soaked, I think, in port wine. Chez-Barrier, the raisins seemed to me to lend an exciting note, but, on the two occasions that I attempted to introduce them into my own experiments, I found the result distinctly disagreeable.

Lucien Tendret is responsible for the marrow, which lends a rich suavity that could be gained in no other way. I have noted earlier that the second forcemeat of the Oreiller de la Belle Aurore is similar to this recipe. In fact, Tendret’s only indication is that it should be composed of chicken livers, marrow, panade, and egg. The present mixture, uncooked, is completely liquid, which, when prepared as a terrine, presents no problem, but if it were to be a workable element in the mounting layers of a pâté, it would have to be much firmer. Eliminate the cream and Cognac, add proportionately more marrow, and make very stiff panade. Finally, chill the mixture well to give it body.


  • About 5 ounces beef marrow (that contained in one leg bone)
  • 1 cup rich, gelatinous stock
  • 3 ounces stale bread, crusts removed, crumbled
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 pound chicken livers
  • Salt, pepper, cayenne
  • Large pinch powdered mixed herbs (thyme, savory, oregano, marjoram)
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Cognac
  • Butter for mold


Ask your butcher to saw the marrow bone into sections. They may be cracked open to remove the marrow or it may be removed from the sections with the help of a small knife.

Combine the stock and the breadcrumbs in a small saucepan and reduce, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the consistency of a firm paste. Pound the garlic to a paste in a mortar and mix with the panade.

Put the livers, the marrow, and the panade through a grinder, (or electric cutter), season, and pass the mixture again, this time through a fine sieve, a ladleful at a time, discarding the fragments of nervous tissue that remain in the sieve. Whisk in the eggs, the cream, and the Cognac, pour into a buttered 1-quart mold or terrine, and poach in a bain-marie, immersed by three quarters in hot but not boiling water, in a medium (350° to 375°) oven for about 1 hour or until the center is firm to the touch. The water of the bain-marie should not be allowed to come to a boil. The loaf shrinks slightly while cooling; unmold it when only tepid, pressing a sheet of plastic wrap around it to protect it from contact with air. Serve well chilled. It may, once chilled, be simply decorated and coated with a chicken or veal jelly. But for the beige exterior, the terrine should be a uniform and delicate rose throughout.