Terrine of Chicken
225g (8oz) organic chicken livers
100ml (32fl oz) brandy or madeira
salt to taste and 2 teaspoons ground white pepper (yes, use all of it)
1.1-1.3kg (22-3lb) organic chicken
225g (8oz) streaky bacon, trimmed and de-rinded
225g (8oz) cooked ham, thickly sliced
marjoram, thyme, bay leaves
1 free range egg, beaten
a ‘crepine’ or sheet of bacon fat to cover the terrine or chicken skin all in one piece
Wash the livers, pat dry on kitchen paper then put them in a flat dish with the brandy or madeira. Pepper generously with ground white pepper. Leave to marinate for 2 hours if possible.
Clean the chicken in the normal way. Place the chicken, breast side down on a board. Skin the chicken, beginning by making an incision down the back, lifting the skin with your fingers in order to separate it from the limbs. Detach limbs in order to debone them, keeping the breasts intact. Scrape all the meat off the bones and put through a mincer or food processor so as to get a fine puree. Do the same thing for the bacon.
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5.
Cut the ham in long strips the length of the terrine. Use your hands to mix the meats well in a mixing bowl, add herbs, beaten egg and marinade from the livers. This mixture is called the farce in France. Line the terrine with chicken skin or a bard of bacon.
Spread one-third of farce on bottom of terrine, then arrange in the middle, half of the well-seasoned breasts interspersed with strips of ham and chicken livers in the middle. Repeat by covering with another layer of farce, chicken breasts, ham and livers as before. Cover with rest of farce and then with the ends of the chicken skin or bard of bacon.
Add a sprig of thyme and bay leaf. Cover terrine and seal with flour and water luting paste. Place terrine in a bain-marie with hot water around it to come up to a third of the height of the terrine. Bring to the boil on the top of the oven, then transfer to the oven and cook for about 2 hours. Watch that it does not boil dry. Top up the water as necessary.
Cooking time varies according to the constituents of the terrine. If you examine the fat
coming to the surface during cooking it will show exactly what point the cooking has reached. If the fat appears cloudy, it is not yet cooked, if the fat is clear the terrine is fully cooked. Any juices should also be clear. Remove from the tin, allow to cool, then press with a board and leave for at least 3 days to mature.
Serve with green salad, lots of crusty bread and a glass of red wine.