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A Man, A Terrine, and the Dalai Lama

Many would consider it totally unfair for one man to have so many talents, but I’m not complaining in the least, when the man in question is my friend Roger D’Souza, passionate foodie, and brilliant photographer. Oh, and he happens to be my sister’s partner too….
“Shall I make something to bring to the beach?” he asked last week, as we were preparing to spend a few days at Noosa. I knew better than to say no, because Roger makes ordinary foodies look half-baked. This guy is the business. He smokes his own meats, makes his own char siu pork from his mother’s recipe, and probably cooks roast duck on camping trips. Actually, that last is true, he does cook roast duck when he goes camping, and the cooking equipment takes up more space in the car than the tent and sleeping bags. 
So I knew I’d be very happy with whatever Roger decided to make to bring along, and I wasn’t disappointed. After a long gruelling day creating photographic works of art he came home and slaved away until after midnight to make this incredible chicken terrine from a recipe by Australia’s favourite farm cook Maggie Beer.
The recipe was featured on one of the final episodes of this year’s Masterchef competition where the final four cooks had all tried and failed to produce the delicious savoury terrine in the allotted time. Masterchef, an Australian reality TV invention that has now gone ballistic worldwide, has inspired all of Australia to get back into their kitchens. The Dalai Lama recently appeared as a guest judge in this series, but I’m making no comment or judgement about whether religious leaders should be appearing on reality TV shows. No comment whatsoever. 
All I will say is that where the final four contestants failed, Roger succeeded, and if the Dalai Lama hadn’t been such a committed vegetarian he would have loved the robust country flavours of pork, chicken and herbs cut through with plump sweet rasisins soaked in verjuice. I’m giving it nine and a half out of ten.

Maggie Beer’s Chook and Pork Terrine
original recipe here


  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup verjuice
  • 1.8kg free-range chicken
  • 525g skinless pork belly, with a good amount of fat
  • 120g rindless bacon
  • 120g free-range chicken livers, connective tissue removed
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tbsp lemon thyme, leaves stripped and chopped
  • 3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp rosemary, roughly chopped
  • 100g fresh walnut bread, crumbed
  • 16g sea salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground white pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Preheat oven to 200C
  • Place raisins and verjuice in small saucepan over medium heat
  • Once verjuice is simmering, remove from heat, and set aside to allow raisins to plump
  • Bone out the chicken – remove wings at the middle joint, then cut all the way down the backbone so chicken is butterflied
  • Remove backbone and ribcage, then continue knife down to remove and cut away the breast and wishbone
  • Chop knuckles from legs, then bone out each leg by removing as many tendons as possible
  • Feel for any bones or gristle that may have been missed and cut these out
  • Carefully remove the skin, taking care not to pierce the skin
  • Dice chicken breast into into 2cm cubes, place into mixing bowl and set aside
  • Dice chicken thigh, leg meat and pork belly into 1cm pieces and place in another bowl
  • Cut bacon into small strips, add to chicken and pork mix along with chicken livers
  • Mix these well together, then blend for 2 minutes in a food processor to create a farce, place back in bowl
  • Add lemom and orange zests, thyme, parley, rosemary, walnut breadcrumbs, verjuice liquid, sea salt, pepper and mix well
  • Grease a one litre terrine mould
  • Place bay leaves on base of mould then line mould with chicken skin
  • On base, layer 1/3 chicken farce, then half diced chicken breast, then 1/2 of the raisins
  • Continue to layer 1/3 farce, remaining chicken breast, remaining raisins
  • Top with remaining 1/3 chicken farce
  • Press gently down to pack contents tightly
  • Fold in both ends of chicken skin, then fold over two sides to create a neat looking parcel
  • Place a sheet of baking paper on top of the terrine then cover with foil and seal well
  • Place a cloth into the base of a hot water bath, place terrine into water bath and cook in preheated oven for 90 minutes, or until the internal temperature has reached 57C
  • Remove from oven and allow terrine to rest in water bath for 15 minutes until internal temperature has reached 65C
  • Pour off any excess juices from terrine
  • Refrigerate overnight in mould with a weight resting on top
  • When ready to serve, carefully turn terrine out onto a board and allow to come to room temperature
  • Serve slices with crusty bread and cornichons