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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Chicken and Pistachio Pâté

Chicken LogThis robust appetizer is reasonably simple and economical to make. The bits of ham, pistachio and chicken breast give it visual interest and texture, and you can spice it up with a little cayenne if you like.

I have a 16" x 3 1/2" pewter dish that I bake mine in; if you have a similar oven-safe vessel you can skip the tying-with-string step and make a loaf that exactly fits your dish.

Chicken and Pistachio Pâté
Serves 10-12

2 lbs. boneless skinless dark chicken meat
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, about 6 oz.
2/3 cup fresh white bread crumbs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg white
4 scallions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 oz. cooked ham, cut into 3/8" cubes
1/2 cup shelled pistachio nuts
3 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. pepper

Cut chicken breast and ham into 3/8" cubes and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place dark chicken meat into food processor and pulse into a smooth purée in two or three batches.

Soak the bread crumbs in the cream in a large mixing bowl. Add the puréed chicken, egg white, scallions, garlic, cubed chicken breast and ham, pistachio nuts, tarragon, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Mix well.

Lay out a piece of extra-wide strong foil about 20 inches long and lightly coat with oil. Spoon the mixture on to the foil to form a log shape about 14" long and 3 1/2" thick. Bring together the long sides of the foil and fold over securely to enclose. Tightly fold the ends of the foil. Tie with string like you would a beef tenderloin, spacing loops about 2" apart.

Transfer to baking dish or roasting pan and bake at 350°F for 1 1/2 hours. Let cool then chill until cold, preferably overnight. Serve at room temperature with slices of French bread.

While this is perfectly tasty by itself, drizzling on a bit of Earth & Vine’s Apricot Dijon Tarragon Finishing Sauce adds even more flavor. If you think using a bottled finishing sauce is cheating, you can make your own with this recipe.
J. Silverheels Gray, 4:48 PM


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