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The term foie gras refers to the fattened liver of a force-fed goose or Moulard duck. Goose liver is about twice the size of duck liver. Duck liver is more commonly used in many homemade terrines due to its size and I believe better taste but that it a matter for debate. Nowadays, foie gras is most often sold raw and vacuum packed which will keep it fresh for about a week. Top-grade foie gras, known as Artisan, grade A or “prime” is what is used in terrines, mousses or sautes. On average a good duck liver should weigh about 500 to 600 grams / 1 to 1 1/2 pounds, will be firm to the touch, smell sweet, smooth textured, creamy in color and slightly shiny. A foie gras is made of two lobes: one large and one small. Before using the liver, separate the two lobes and remove any veins that are visible. Foie gras can be cooked dozens of different ways but the way I have chosen here is by far the quickest and easiest in my mind, a foie gras terrine. It is the height of luxury on any Christmas or New Year menu. Chilled and sliced the buttery liver literally melts on the tongue. Richer than butter and cream together, smoother and silkier than regular liver, it is a taste sensation that you will not forget and you will want much more of. The classic way to serve it is with a thin white bread or brioche toast and a glass of chilled Sauternes, a sweet white wine. Truly a pairing made in heaven. Once cooked, the terrine must rest in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 days, so begin about a week before you wish to serve the dish. The second day it is edible, but it becomes fabulous about day five.
My wonderful Parisian neighbor, Diana, taught me this quick and easy method of preparing foie gras and I assure you that once you have tried it, it will be your method of choice. It is quick, easy and absolutely delicious. Merci Diana!

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Ingredients:

One duck liver about 500 g / one pound
2 Tablespoons Armagnac
2 Tablespoons Port
1 Tablespoon White wine
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

Preheat your oven to 200 C / 400 F
Place a dish larger than your terrine in the oven and fill with water so that once your terrine is in it, the water will reach about halfway up the sides of the terrine
Remove the liver from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for about 10 minutes
Pour half the alcohol into the bottom of your terrine dish, set aside
Separate the two lobes and remove any veins you see with your fingers
Work with the first lobe
Do not be afraid of breaking up the foie in the process of looking for veins as you will be packing all the pieces tightly into a terrine dish
Once all veins removed, pack all the bits of the first lobe into the dish and press down gently with your fingers
Sprinkle with salt & pepper and the rest of the alcohol
Devein the second lobe
Press all the pieces into the mold to eliminate air pockets and create a smooth surface
Cover tightly with thick aluminum foil and ensure well sealed
Put the terrine into the roasting pan with the warm water in the oven
Cook for 12 minutes
Allow to cool for 15 minutes then refrigerate for at least 3 to 5 days before serving to allow the flavors to develop
Serve the terrine cool, not chilled. Remove from refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving
Cut with a knife dipped in hot water and dried before cutting each slice
Enjoy!

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