Monday, October 1
Chicken and Spinach Terrine
I love bacon. In fact, I love it that much that I reckon I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner....you know big cook up for brekky, a club sandwich for lunch and perhaps a risotto (with bacon of course!) for dinner! So it's no surprise that when I'm perusing recipes, if bacon is included, I tend to read the entire recipe and drool over how it might taste. I have to say it was the bacon wrapped description of this delightful terrine that grabbed my attention and I knew I had to try this baby out. I mean, this terrine is like it's gift wrapped especially for me, but the bonus is I get to eat the wrapping as well!
This terrine didn't disappoint at all. It's not a dish you can whip up with no planning. It needs 24 hours to rest after cooking, but the actual cooking is easy peasy (with no fancy equipment required besides a stir here and there) and with each day, this terrine gets tastier and tastier! The only change I made to the actual recipe was using chicken thighs diced, instead of chicken mince. I like the different textures of the pork mince and chicken chunks, but use all mince if you fancy. I have also used green peppercorns as I couldn't find pink peppercorns in my supermarket, but you are lucky to come across some I think either will do.
This terrine makes a fabulous picnic food and I shared with one of my food loving friends and we talked about how perfect it would be for our Australian Summer Christmas menu (as it's served cold) and all the variations that are possible. We are already planning variations with asparagus, capers, or semi dried tomatoes or even pistachio nuts. Really the choices are endless!
Here is what you need....
3 bay leaves
10 rashers of bacon, rind removed
1/2 bunch of spinach
1 brown onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
500g chicken thighs, diced
300g pork mince
1 tbsp pink (or green) peppercorns (in brine), drained
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup vermouth
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line a base of a loaf tin or if you have a non stick bend n bake, use that. Put the bay leaves along the bottom then line the bacon rashers making sure they overlap the edges as you'll be wrapping up your terrine later.
2. Clean your spinach and cut the stalks off, you only want the leaves. Heat the oil in a pan and over medium heat cook the onion and garlic until soy and then add the spinach and cook covered for a further 2-3 minutes. If the mixture is watery, drain the liquid from this mixture. You can also cut up the spinach a bit at this point.
3. In a bowl, place the mince, diced chicken, peppercorns, egg and salt. Add the spinach mixture and stir to combine. Spread mixture into the bacon-lined tine then fold the bacon over the filling. Cover the tin with foil and place the tin in a baking dish and fill with boiling water half way up the tin.
4. bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Remove the tin from the baking diss and let it stand for an hour. Drain off the excess liquid, and pour over the vermouth. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Drain off any excess liquid and turn onto a cutting board. Cut into 1cm slices and enjoy with salad, chutney and crusty bread!