Country-style Terrine of Chicken Liver and Chorizo

Country-style pâtés and terrines, sometimes called pâté maison, generally have a chunky texture. In this version, which is my own, I replace the more traditional pork and veal with chorizo, a mildly spicy pork sausage. To make clarified butter, melt 8 ounces (two sticks) of unsalted butter in a small saucepan set over low heat. Skim the foam and impurities from the surface and discard. Carefully pour butter into a small container, being careful to leave milk solids in the bottom of the pan. Clarified butter will keep for several weeks if refrigerated in an airtight container.

Wine recommendations: Like the terrine of foie gras above, match the personality of the dish (rustic and chunky in this case) to the personality of the wine. A bold, not-too-polished red wine with spice notes will match well with the assertive flavors in this dish. Try Grenache-based blends from Spain or the south of France, a peppery Côtes-du-Rhône, or even a sturdy Beaujolais—preferably a Morgon or Moulin à Vent—with this country-style terrine.

  • 3/4 pound chicken livers, fat and membranes trimmed
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Tequila or brandy
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 large head garlic, cloves separated, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon minced sage
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 teaspoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 pound Mexican (not Spanish) chorizo sausage, in bulk or with casings removed

Put the chicken livers into a shallow bowl, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the Tequila or brandy and set aside for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, blanch the bacon by filling a small saucepan half full with water and bring it to a boil. Separate the bacon slices so that they do not stick to each other, drop them into the boiling water and simmer for 30 seconds. Transfer to absorbent paper to drain.

Melt the butter in a medium pan set over medium-low heat, add the onion, and cook until soft and fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the garlic and sautée 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper, stir in the allspice, sage and oregano and remove from heat.

Preheat the oven to 325F. Chop half of the chicken livers into medium (about 1/2-to 3/4-inch) chunks and put them into a bowl. Chop 3 slices of bacon. Put the chopped bacon and the remaining half of the chicken livers, along with any juices, into the work bowl of a food processor. Add the egg and cream and pulse until the mixture is smooth; pour into the bowl with the chopped livers. Add the chorizo and the onion mixture and use a wooden spoon to mix together thoroughly.

Line a 3-cup terrine or narrow loaf pan with the remaining bacon and pack the forcemeat into the pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Create a water bath by setting the pan in a larger ovenproof dish and setting it on the middle rack of the oven. Fill the larger dish with enough water to come halfway up the sides of the smaller dish. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until the terrine reaches an internal temperature of 145F on an instant-read thermometer.

Published on June 24, 2010