Festive Chicken Terrine

Festive Chicken Terrine
Festive Chicken Terrine served on a wooden chopping board with a glass of wine

Festive chicken terrine is flavoured with brandy, Dijon mustard, leeks and tarragon, and speckled with cranberries, dried apricots and pistachio nuts all wrapped in bacon.

It’s easy to make, and economical for a large gathering and perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas spreads as it can be made three days in advance, and the flavour only gets better. 

ingredients to make Festive Chicken Terrine on a concrete table

easy to make

If you think this festive chicken terrine is difficult to make it’s not any harder than making a meatloaf, and very impressive. 

First you poach, or steam the leeks till tender. Pop your chicken mince into a large bowl along with the breadcrumbs, tarragon, pistachio nuts, cranberries, dried apricots and then stir in the eggs, brandy, mustard, salt and pepper and give it all a good mix, your hands are the best tool.

poaching leeks to place in the Festive Chicken Terrine
gently poach or steam the leeks until tender, then drain well

Next you line a loaf pan with foil and lay the bacon across the bottom and up the sides of the pan leaving an overlap to wrap the terrine once it is filled. 

Spoon about 2 1/2cm (1 inch) of the chicken mixture into the pan and lay the chicken breast slices and 2 pieces of leek down the length of the pan. Next spoon another 2 1/2cm (1 inch) of the mixture and repeat with the chicken breast slices and leek.

Finally spoon the last of the mixture over the breast and smooth the top and fold over the overhanging bacon slices and the overhanging foil.  Tap the pan 2 or 3 times on the bench to remove any air pockets.

bacon lined baking pan to make Festive Chicken Terrine
line the pan with overlapping slices of bacon

Wrap the terrine with foil and place in a deep sided baking tin and pour boiling water into the pan to come half way up the side of the terrine pan.

Pop into a preheated oven and bake for 90 minutes.

Remove the terrine from the oven and refrigerate for 1 hour to cool, then weight the terrine using another loaf or stiff piece of cardboard and pop two cans of anything on the top and refrigerate overnight or until well chilled and set. This is to ensure the terrine is tightly packed, and having done this the terrine will slice cleanly without breaking up.

 layering the filling into a baking pan to make Festive chicken terrine
layer the chicken and leeks between the chicken mince to form three layers – mince, chicken and leeks, mince, chicken and leeks and mince

Remove the terrine from the pan and wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate till required.

It will take you about 30 minutes to prepare this terrine and an hour and a half to bake it leaving you completely hands free on the day of serving. Too easy!

freezing the terrine

You can freeze this festive chicken terrine up to a month prior to serving it. Wrap the terrine in cling wrap and then wrap it in foil. Remove from the freezer and allow to thaw in the refrigerator two days before serving.

folding the bacon over the chicken mixture to make Festive chicken terrine
firmly wrap the overhanging bacon onto the chicken mixture and then cover with foil

Bring the terrine to room temperature and you can pop the whole terrine back into the baking tin and place under a preheated griller (broiler) for a couple of minutes to crisp up the bacon before serving. 

what to serve with the terrine

weighting the terrine with a loaf pan and two can on top of the terrine
place anything you can find on top of the terrine to compress the mixture

For our money the terrine is even more delicious when you serve a relish, sauce or chutney alongside.

A quick mango relish comes to mind and it’s simple to make. In a small saucepan combine 2 cups of chopped mango, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, 2 tablespoons white sugar, 1 small red onion finely chopped and a teaspoon of finely grated fresh ginger and heat and stir until the sugar dissolves then simmer for 5 minutes, cool then refrigerate. Too easy! 

Another delicious side to serve with the terrine is a cranberry relish with a little fresh orange zest stirred through it. 

A little light green salad, or watercress lightly dressed along with some toasted baguette slices would complete the delicious terrine for us.

Watch How To Make our Festive Chicken Terrine

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We would love to hear from you in the comments below when you make this delicious festive chicken terrine.

Festive Chicken Terrine
Yield: 10 serves

Festive Chicken Terrine

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Festive chicken terrine is a great starter to serve and make ahead when you have a party. It's economical and very easy to make, and looks impressive and tastes delicious. What's not to like?


  • 750g (1 3/4 pounds) chicken or turkey mince (ground)
  • 1 small chicken breast cut into 1 1/4cm (1/2 inch slices or use chicken tender loins
  • 12 slices streaky bacon, about 350g (12 ounces)
  • 2 small leeks, halved
  • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachio nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 2 teaspoons fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon fine ground white pepper


  1. preheat oven to 180c (355f) on bake, not fan
  2. poach leeks in simmering water, or steam till tender (about 10 minutes) then remove and allow to drain
  3. line a 22cm x 14cm x 7cm (8 1/2 inch x 5 1/2 inch x 3 inch) loaf pan with foil allowing enough to overlap and eventually cover the terrine
  4. line your terrine or loaf pan with the bacon slightly overlapping each piece - see images above
  5. in a large bowl place chicken mince, breadcrumbs, garlic, tarragon, pistachio, dried apricots, cranberries, zest then add the eggs, mustard, brandy, salt and pepper and mix till incorporated (use a pair of rubber gloves)
  6. spoon 1/3 of the chicken mixture into the pan and even out the top
  7. lay half of the chicken breast slices and 2 pieces of leek over the chicken mixture
  8. repeat with 1/3 more of the chicken mixture and add the remaining breast slices and leek on top of the chicken mixture
  9. add the last 1/3 of the chicken mixture over the top and smooth the top
  10. tap the pan on the bench 3 or 4 times to remove any air pockets
  11. fold the bacon ends over the top of the terrine and fold the overlapping foil over the bacon
  12. cover with foil and place terrine or loaf pan in a deep sided baking dish
  13. pour boiling water halfway up the side of the loaf or terrine pan
  14. place baking tray in the oven on the centre shelf
  15. bake for 90 minutes until the internal temperature is 68c (154f)
  16. remove baking dish from oven and lift terrine out from the water bath and place on a cooling rack and allow to cool for 30 minutes
  17. place terrine in the refrigerator to cool completely
  18. when the terrine is cool place another loaf pan or sheet of stiff cardboard on the terrine with a couple of tinned products in the tin to weight the terrine and then refrigerate with the weights overnight
  19. remove terrine from pan and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate till required
  20. when you're ready to serve you can place the terrine under a preheated grill (broiler) and allow the bacon fat to render for 8-10 minutes - this step is optional
  21. serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 380Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 93mgSodium 1316mgCarbohydrates 31gFiber 3gSugar 11gProtein 23g

Nutritional information provided here is only intended as a guide.

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