This chicken terrine recipe comes from my mother, and I like it very much. Especially in summer with a salad, grilled vegetables, or even crisps/chips. The mint in the terrine brings a fresh feeling, accentuated by the lemon, and those flavours mix perfectly with the chicken’s. On the top of that, its texture is soft and fondant.
The meat or vegetable “patés” and “terrines” are very typical of France, as a starter, a light main course or in a buffet, and can be accompanied with a salad or grilled vegetables. The origin of this dish goes back to the Middle Ages. Usually eaten cold, so easy to transport, it can be made with various ingredients: meat, fish, vegetables, spices etc. Grounded ingredients are mixed and cooked very slowly in the oven, covered or not, in a large rectangular dish called “terrine” that gave its name to this dish. You can find many variations: wrapped in a pastry it is a “pâté en croûte”, with a flavoured gelatin that you add before putting the terrine to cool down in the fridge, with dry fruits like pistachios, almonds, …
I changed a little bit the proportions regarding the original recipe: I put lots of mushrooms, because I really like them, and I enhance the flavour of the terrine by adding ingredients like rosemary and dry sherry. I also add a little bit of gelatin at the end of the cooking, before I put the terrine in the fridge: the gelatin retains the flavours of the other ingredients as well as it conserves it better. The gelatine gives a a fresh taste, as well as making it look good. I recommend to make one flavoured with Madeira wine.You can find a home-made recipe on the blog Gourmandenise that I recommend, in French but very easy to follow.
I like it because:
This terrine has a very refreshing flavour thanks to the mint and the lemon, and the texture is very soft.
It is very convenient for a picnic or any casual meal, you can even eat it with your fingers.
Use shallots instead of onions because they have a slightly sweeter flavour that mix perfectly well with the meat.
If you can, mince the chicken yourself with a food processor or a mixer, then the minced meat will be thicker and will make the terrine tender. If you don’t have a food processor, ask your butcher to do it.
The terrine cooks in a water bath in the oven, so you need a larger dish where the terrine can fit inside, that you half fill with water. It sounds complicated, but at the end is very easy to do.
Salt, pepper, grounded coriander seeds and any other seasoning that you like
Preheat the oven to 160ºC (320ºF) and put in the large dish which you are going to use to cook the terrine in a water bath inside, half full of water. Spread a little bit of butter on the border of the terrine.
Soak the bread in the white wine, in a bowl, and leave it aside.
Fry the bacon in a pan for a few minutes, accompanied by a sprig of rosemary, meanwhile you slice the mushrooms, shallots and chop the garlic.
Incorporate these ingredients in the pan and cook them until mushrooms are tender. Then pour the dry sherry in the pan and let it cook 1 more minute, stirring with a wooden spoon. When the wine is evaporated turn off the heat and remove the sprig of rosemary.
Cut the chicken breast into small pieces and pour a little bit of them in the food processor, along with some of the bacon mixture, the bread and the wine. Mix the ingredients together. Repeat the operation several times until all the ingredients are incorporated. If the meat is already grounded, mix all those ingredients together with a fork.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and season with salt, pepper, grounded coriander, then incorporate the lemon zest, the chopped mint leaves and the cream. Mix all ingredients with a wooden spoon until the mixture is homogeneous.
Pour into the terrine, cover with an aluminium paper and place the dish into the oven, in the water bath.
Cook the terrine for 30 minutes, then take off the aluminium paper and cook it 30 minutes uncovered. When the time is over, turn off the oven, leaving the terrine inside until it cools down a little bit.
If you wish, add the Madeira jelly at this stage, before putting the terrine in the refrigerator for at least overnight.
The terrine will be ready for eating the next day, accompanied with a salad, vegetable or chips, as well as in a sandwich ... this dish can be adapted to suit your mood!