This is my "secret" recipe, that I make for the guests who stay in our Chambres D'Hotes - Bed and Breakfast! (Not so secret anymore!) It is always popular, and makes a nice change from the usual pork rillettes, and it is MUCH lighter in fat as well. Serve these rillettes as I do, with triangles of hot toast and a selection of cornichons, pickled onions and a good quality or home-made confit d'oignons.......a good Dijon mustard is also "le Must Have" as well as a selection of salad leaves! I have a recipe for confit d'oignons posted on Zaar: Confit D' Oignon - French Onion Marmalade
- 1 (4 -5 lb) whole chickens, cut into quarters
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leave
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 shallot, peeled and diced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon quatre-epices or 1⁄2 teaspoon rabelais seasoning
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground mace
- 12 black peppercorns
- 8 fluid ounces dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons armagnac
- extra duck fat or goose fat, melted
- Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).
- Begin by placing the chicken joints on a rack in a shallow roasting tin, pierce them with a skewer, sprinkle salt on the skins then place them on a high shelf of the oven and leave them for 1 hour to cook. Then remove them from the oven and drain off all the fat from the roasting tin into a bowl.
- Now place the chicken joints in a solid flameproof casserole or saucepan, and sprinkle in the thyme, mace, quatre epices, chopped shallots and garlic. Then use a pestle and mortar to crush the peppercorns coarsely, and add these as well.
- Next pour in the wine, bring everything up to simmering point, then turn the heat right down to the gentlest simmer possible and leave it like that for 2 hours.
- After that, pour off all the liquid into a bowl, stir in the armagnac and reserve it; have the terrine, loaf tin, or small ramekin dishes ready.
- Take a quarter of chicken, place it on a board, and simply strip away the skin and bones, which will part very easily from the flesh. Then, using either two forks or just your hands, shred the pieces of chicken flesh as finely as possible, and pack them into the terrine or ramekin dishes.
- When you have repeated this with the other chicken quarters, press all the shreds of meat down very firmly into the terrine or ramekins, then pour in all the cooking juices with the armagnac, (there's no need to strain them).
- Melt a little duck or goose fat and pour it over the top to seal the rillettes - it will solidify as it cools.
- Lastly, decorate the surface with the thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns - pressing into the duck or goose fat. Then as soon as it's cool put a lid on the terrine or cover with foil and place in the fridge until needed. You can make it well in advance as it will keep for about five to seven days.
- Serve with hot buttered triangles of toast and cornichons -- or a confit d'oignons -- and salad leaves!