At Stage 3 of the Taste Le Tour, chef Gabriel Gaté visits the famous covered market of Challans and discovers the wonderful local poultry. He meets a couple who breed chickens and ducks and finds out why the top chefs of France use the local poultry. Top French chef, Philippe Mouchel, makes a ballotine de canard, a kind of duck terrine. Serve as an appetiser, light entree or as part of a picnic spread.






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (57 votes)


  • 600 g minced duck leg meat
  • 150 g diced duck breast
  • 150 g diced veal
  • 150 g minced pork fat
  • 50 g pistachio nuts
  • 30 ml Madeira
  • 30 ml cognac
  • 120 ml dry white wine
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp of four-spice mix
  • 300 g foie gras, cut into 2 cm chunks
  • 1 deboned duck
  • 2 litres duck or chicken stock

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


You'll need to begin this recipe 2 days ahead.

Chilling time: 6 hours

In a bowl, thoroughly combine the minced duck leg with the duck breast, diced veal, pork fat, pistachio nuts, Madeira, cognac, dry white wine, a little salt and pepper and the four-spice mix. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Place the deboned duck, skin-side down, on several layers of film wrap. Spread the duck forcemeat on top of the deboned duck, leaving about 2 cm at the edge free of forcemeat.

Garnish the centre with a line of foie gras, going from the duck neck part to the end of the duck. Carefully, but firmly, roll the deboned duck to enclose the forcemeat in the centre. Make sure the parcel is well wrapped with plastic film and secure the ends and centre with kitchen string.

Bring the stock to almost a simmer, then place the duck parcel into the stock to poach for about 2 hours. It’s best if it does not boil. The ideal cooking temperature is about 80°C.

You can let it cool in the liquid, then refrigerate it.

Cut into 1 cm slices. Serve.