Cooking time

Duck Pâté with Dried Fruit and Cognac

  • Preparation : 35 minutes
  • Cooking : 60 minutes
  • Portions : 12-16
pâté au cognac


  • 3 skinless duck breasts, cut into pieces
  • 1 250 g package of sliced bacon
  • Medium onion, quartered
  • 45-60 ml (3-4 tbsp) cognac or brandy
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 454 g (1 lb) lean ground pork
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) fresh parsley, chopped
  • 7.5 ml (1 1/2 tsp) sea salt
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) green peppercorns in brine
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) ground black pepper
  • 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) dried fruit mix, coarsely sliced
  • 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) Chinese five-spice or ground cardamom


  1. Servings: 12-16
    Preparation time: 35 minutes
    Cooking time: 1 hour

    Make-ahead: 5 days
    Minimum wait time: 26 hours

  2. Preheat the oven to 165 °C (325 °F). Line the bottom and the sides of a bread pan, approximately 13 cm x 23 cm (5” x 9”) with bacon slices, letting them hang over the edges of the pan. Set aside.

  3. In a food processor, grind the duck breasts, onion, cognac and the eggs until it is a smooth filling which still has small pieces of duck. Do not overgrind it, as you do not want it to become ground meat.

  4. Transfer the meat to a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well, then add this mixture in the bread pan.

  5. Cover the pâté with the bacon slices hanging over the sides, then shake the pan a few times to distribute the pâté evenly. Cover it with a sheet of aluminium foil and put the pan in a deep ovenproof dish and pour 2.5 cm (1”) of hot water into it.

  6. Put everything into the oven and cook the pâté for 60 minutes.

  7. Remove the pâté from the oven and let it cool for 2 hours before covering it with a weight (like two food cans) and refrigerate for 24 hours.

  8. Remove the pâté from the pan by flipping it over on a decorative wooden board and serve immediately. Serve with thin slices of toasted baguette and condiments of choice.

  9. Preservation
    Well sealed and unopened: 10 days in the refrigerator and 2 months in the freezer
    Opened: 7 days

Recipe developed by Nicolas Vallée, professional chef

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