Algerian Chicken Terrine Recipe - A Tasty Fusion of Flavors

Algerian Chicken Terrine

Algerian Chicken Terrine Recipe - A Tasty Fusion of Flavors
Region / culture: Algeria | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour | Servings: 6


Algerian Chicken Terrine
Algerian Chicken Terrine

The Algerian Chicken Terrine is a delightful and savory dish that combines the rich flavors of the Mediterranean with traditional Algerian spices. This recipe is a testament to the culinary diversity of Algeria, incorporating ingredients like mint, cumin, and preserved lemon to create a unique and flavorful terrine. Perfect for gatherings, this dish serves as an exquisite appetizer or a light main course, promising to take your taste buds on an unforgettable journey.


The concept of a terrine, a traditional French dish, has been embraced and adapted by various cultures, including Algeria. The Algerian Chicken Terrine is a modern twist on this classic, incorporating local ingredients and spices to reflect the country's rich culinary heritage. Historically, terrines were made to preserve meat before the advent of refrigeration. Over time, they have evolved into gourmet dishes, celebrated for their complex flavors and textures.


How to prepare

  1. 1) Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. 2) Heat the oil in a small sauté pan and gently cook the onion with a pinch of salt until it becomes very soft. Set it aside to cool.
  3. 3) Place all the ingredients, including the cooled onion, in a large bowl and mix them until they are well combined.
  4. 4) Line a terrine or another deep, ovenproof dish with the bacon, allowing the excess to hang over the sides. Pack the mixture into the dish and fold the bacon over the top to completely cover the terrine. Place the lid on top or cover it well with a double thickness of tin foil.
  5. 5) Put the terrine in a deep baking dish and add enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the terrine.
  6. 6) Cook for 1 hour, then test to see if the juices run clear or if the internal temperature reaches 70°C when tested with a meat thermometer.
  7. 7) Remove the terrine from the water bath, place a weight on top, and allow it to cool.
  8. 8) Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve with crusty bread, cornichons, and beetroot relish.


  • For a twist on the traditional recipe, consider substituting the chicken and pork with turkey or veal for a different flavor profile. Adding different herbs like cilantro or parsley can also create a new taste experience. For a vegetarian version, lentils and mushrooms can replace the meats, though the cooking process may vary.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Algerian Chicken Terrine is moist and flavorful, follow these tips:

- Use fresh herbs for the best flavor.

- Be sure to cool the sautéed onion before adding it to the mix to prevent cooking the egg prematurely.

- Packing the terrine mixture firmly into the dish helps to eliminate air pockets, resulting in a better texture.

- Placing a weight on top of the terrine as it cools helps to compress the mixture, making it easier to slice.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the terrine chilled or at room temperature, sliced thickly. It pairs wonderfully with crusty bread, cornichons, and beetroot relish as suggested. A side of mixed greens dressed with a light vinaigrette complements the rich flavors of the terrine beautifully.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in this recipe is the bain-marie, or water bath, which ensures gentle and even cooking. This method prevents the terrine from drying out or cooking too quickly, resulting in a tender and moist final product.

Ingredient Substitutions

If preserved lemon is not available, lemon zest can be used as a substitute to provide a similar citrusy flavor. Similarly, if you're unable to find moist figs, dried apricots soaked in water to rehydrate them can be a suitable alternative.

Make Ahead Tips

This dish is perfect for making ahead as it needs to be refrigerated overnight to set properly. It can be prepared 2-3 days in advance, allowing the flavors to meld together, enhancing the overall taste.

Presentation Ideas

For an elegant presentation, slice the terrine and arrange it on a platter with garnishes like fresh herbs, edible flowers, or thinly sliced lemon. Serving it on a wooden cutting board can add a rustic charm to your table setting.

Pairing Recommendations

A light, crisp white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or a dry Rosé pairs beautifully with the flavors of the terrine. For a non-alcoholic option, a sparkling lemonade or mint-infused water complements the dish well.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

The terrine can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days. It is best enjoyed cold or at room temperature, so reheating is not necessary. If you do wish to warm it, do so gently in a low oven, covered, to prevent drying out.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Algerian Chicken Terrine contains approximately 250-300 calories, making it a moderate option for those monitoring their calorie intake. Pairing it with a light salad or vegetable side can make for a balanced and nutritious meal.


This Algerian Chicken Terrine is relatively low in carbohydrates, with the primary sources being the onions, figs, and a small amount from the preserved lemon. Each serving contains approximately 8-10 grams of carbohydrates, making it a suitable option for those following a low-carb diet.


The fats in this recipe come from several sources, including olive oil, chicken breast, pork mince, and bacon. The total fat content per serving is approximately 15-20 grams. However, using lean cuts of meat and trimming excess fat from the bacon can help reduce the overall fat content.


This terrine is an excellent source of protein, thanks to the chicken breast and pork mince. Each serving provides roughly 25-30 grams of protein, making it a satisfying and muscle-building option for your meal.

Vitamins and minerals

The ingredients in this terrine, particularly the herbs, nuts, and vegetables, contribute a variety of vitamins and minerals. These include Vitamin C from the preserved lemon, Vitamin E from the olive oil, and a range of B vitamins from the meats. Additionally, the walnuts provide a good source of magnesium and zinc.


This recipe contains common allergens such as eggs, nuts (walnuts), and potential gluten in the bacon depending on processing. Individuals with food allergies should modify the recipe accordingly or ensure that all ingredients are safe for their consumption.


Overall, the Algerian Chicken Terrine is a balanced dish, offering a good mix of proteins, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. It's relatively low in carbohydrates and calories, making it a suitable option for various dietary preferences.


The Algerian Chicken Terrine is a versatile and flavorful dish that combines traditional Algerian spices with the technique of French terrine-making. It's a wonderful addition to any meal, offering a rich blend of flavors and textures. With options for customization and make-ahead preparation, it's a perfect choice for entertaining or enjoying a special meal at home.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the thrill of stumbling upon this recipe for Algerian Chicken Terrine. It was many years ago, during my travels through North Africa. I had always been fascinated by the rich and diverse culinary traditions of the region, and I jumped at the opportunity to learn more about Algerian cuisine.

I had the privilege of staying with a local family in Algiers, who welcomed me into their home with open arms. The matriarch of the family, a wise and kind woman named Fatima, took me under her wing and taught me the secrets of Algerian cooking.

One day, as we sat in her kitchen preparing a feast for a special occasion, Fatima pulled out a tattered old cookbook from a dusty shelf. She leafed through the pages with a nostalgic smile on her face, and finally landed on a recipe for Chicken Terrine.

"This is a special dish that we make for celebrations and gatherings," she explained. "It takes time and patience, but the end result is worth it."

I watched in awe as Fatima expertly prepared the terrine, combining ground chicken with fragrant spices, fresh herbs, and a touch of harissa for heat. She carefully layered the mixture in a terrine mold, pressing it down firmly to create a smooth and compact loaf.

As the terrine baked in the oven, filling the kitchen with mouthwatering aromas, Fatima shared stories of her own grandmother, who had passed down the recipe to her. She spoke of the importance of preserving culinary traditions, of passing on knowledge from one generation to the next.

When the terrine was finally ready, Fatima turned it out onto a platter and sliced it into thick, steaming slices. The tender chicken, flavored with aromatic spices and herbs, melted in my mouth, leaving behind a warm and comforting sensation.

From that day on, I knew that I had to learn how to make Algerian Chicken Terrine for myself. I asked Fatima to teach me the recipe, and she graciously agreed.

Over the following days, we spent countless hours in the kitchen, perfecting the technique and fine-tuning the flavors. Fatima patiently guided me through each step, offering tips and tricks that she had learned from years of experience.

I learned how to balance the spices, how to layer the ingredients for maximum flavor, and how to achieve the perfect texture for the terrine. I practiced slicing the terrine with precision, presenting it on a platter with a sprinkle of fresh herbs for garnish.

As I mastered the recipe, I felt a deep sense of pride and satisfaction. I had not only learned how to make Algerian Chicken Terrine, but I had also forged a special bond with Fatima, who had become like a second grandmother to me.

To this day, whenever I prepare the terrine for my own family and friends, I think back to that time in Algiers, where I first discovered the magic of Algerian cuisine. I am grateful for the knowledge and wisdom that Fatima shared with me, and I am honored to carry on the tradition of making this delicious and soul-warming dish.

In every slice of Algerian Chicken Terrine that I serve, I feel a connection to the past, a celebration of heritage and culture. And I know that as long as I continue to cook and share these recipes, the traditions of my ancestors will live on for generations to come.


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