Foie gras and chicken mosaic terrine wrapped in parma ham

Monday, January 05, 2009
The secret of this is, that although it can be made a couple of days in adavance, it always tastes much fresher (and better, naturally) when mde fresh on the day of serving, as this one was, made and served on the first Saturday of the new year.

Free range chicken came from Madgetts Farm.
Roasted on the bone it is always much more succulent than using chicken supremes. When cooked I rest it out of the oven, turned upside down so the roasting juices drain through the breat meat.
Foie gras is brought to room temperature so it softens whereupon the main veins, and other smaller ones, can be removed. You take care not to break the skin on the outside which holds the foie gras lobe together.
Then it is seasoned with salt, pepper, brandy and port.
Cooked at 100 oC in the oven, on a rack and covered loosely with foil, it is brought to 48 oC core temperature using a probe. This took about 20 minutes - though you need to keep checking. After probing the middle I also probed a larger denser mass on the outside to make sure it was evenly cooked. There is more useful info on foie gras here:
Once cooked, the fat (foie gras butter) that renders off can be kept and used instead of oil where you want to add a lxurious flavour - add to mash potato, use to fry fillet steaks etc.
Building the terrine:

With the foie gras still warm, I always start with a layer of foie gras at the bottom which gives you a good base. Put it skin side down. Then you build the rest of the layers on top:
The chicken breasts cut down the middle
Sautéed exotic mushrooms, globe artichokes......
Port soaked raisins
And pheasant stock - made from the pheasant carcasses from new year's eve. As this has been so reduced it sets - so holds the terrine together when chilled while also adding a great flavour. These layers are repeated swapping the order so what goes in first is the opposite to he last layer which gives you the mosaic look. I always fit in a piece of foie gras in the middle of the terrine too. A also added a couple of ladels of the pheasant/ Cointreau sauce to add a depth of flavour -it trickles through the ingredients, also helping bind them together.
A final layer of foie is added on top, and the terrine is chilled. Just before cutting and serving it is rolled in parma ham - wrapped any earlier and the moisture in the terrine affects the ham, and perfection is everything.

Plum purée made an ideal accompaniment - if you make them like my vanilla poached plums, but without the thickening and cook them more so they purée. When cold this can be chopped finer with a large cooks knife.

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