Serves 12

In Gascony, the liver is traditionally served in a porcelain terrine mold, along with a serving spoon and a small bowl of hot water. Each person dips the spoon in the hot water to heat it and neatly scoops out a portion to spread it on grilled slices of coarse peasant bread. A more elegant approach is to serve the terrine in slices, arranged around diced aspic, greens dressed in a walnut oil vinaigrette, and toasted brioche. The preparation and resting time for a terrine is 5 to 7 days.

2 grade-A fresh foie gras (about 1 ½ lbs. each),
   rinsed and deveined
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
3 tablespoons Armagnac or Sauternes wine

1. Drain the livers on paper towels and pat dry. Mix salt and pepper and season livers thoroughly. Sprinkle with Armagnac or Sauternes and refrigerate covered overnight.

2. 1 hour prior to cooking, remove the livers from the refrigerator and let return to room temperature.

3. Preheat oven to 215 degrees F. Line terrine mold with heatproof plastic wrap, leaving enough excess wrap to fold over the top of the terrine. Fit one of the large lobes, smooth side down, into the mold. Flatten it to eliminate air pockets. Place the smaller lobes and any pieces of liver in the middle and top with the remaining large lobe. Press down to fit into the mold. Cover securely with the heatproof plastic wrap.

4. To create a water bath (bain-marie), place a folded kitchen towel in the bottom of a roasting pan. Put the sealed terrine (right side up) on the kitchen and add hot water to fill the roasting pan halfway. Set in the oven and cook for 60 minutes or until the internal temperature measures 130 degrees F. Remove the terrine from the bain-marie and place immediately in iced water for 10 minutes.

5. If the terrine you are using does not have a lid, create one by wrapping a piece of cardboard fitted to the mold with plastic wrap. Gently push down the foie gras with this lid to press out most of the fat. Weigh down the lid with cans or weights and place in the refrigerator for 3 days.

6. Unmold the liver from the terrine, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and return to the refrigerator in a clean terrine mold for an additional 2 days before serving to allow the flavors to develop.

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