While the idea of aspics or meat jellies can send some people running for the hills, I think they are absolutely delicious and perfect for serving in the hotter summer months. A great intro to this sort of food is my recipe for Chicken and Apricot Terrine.
What’s a Chicken and Apricot Terrine?
A chicken terrine a lot like a poached chicken meatloaf, served cold. I first had this combination of tender chicken and sweet apricots in a little pub in London and have been hooked ever since.
Terrines can be pre-cooked and then set in jellied stock like this one, or cooked in a water bath in the oven.
How is the terrine made?
It’s actually quite simple. First, you poach a whole chicken, which does the double duty of cooking the meat and making a delicious stock.
Then the shredded chicken meat is layered into a prosciutto lined loaf pan, along with some sautéed leeks, herbs and dried apricots.
The stock with a little gelatine gets poured over the top and the whole thing is chilled in the fridge overnight.
How do you serve Chicken and Apricot Terrine?
This is classic pub food, so it is best served thickly sliced, with some lovely chutney and cornichons or pickled onions. Of course, it goes without saying that it goes very well with a glass of chilled white wine or a cool pint of British ale.
A terrine makes a little go a long way
With food prices rising across the globe, it’s important to get the maximum bang for your buck when it comes to meat. Poaching a chicken means you can use every last piece of meat, as well as the nutritious stock. As a bonus, this fairly rich meal can easily serve 6 people as a starter, so it goes a long way too.
Make in advance
If you’ve been reading along for a while, you’ll know how enthusiastic I am about meals that can be prepared in advance. Especially in the hot summer months, cooking in advance takes all the stress out of entertaining.
Chicken and Apricot Terrine can be made and chilled 3-4 days before you need it, so perfect for a relaxed summer drinks party.
Looking for more easy chicken recipes?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I don’t like apricots! Do I have to use them in this terrine?
Not at all, though the combination is very tasty. You could try using another dried fruit such as prunes instead, or simply leave them out.
I don’t have time to poach a chicken, is there a shortcut?
Yes, it’s less economical, but you can shred the meat from a rotisserie chicken and use a good quality bought stock. I’d add one more sheet of gelatine to be sure that it sets properly.
Can I freeze Chicken Terrine?
Yes, though gelatine doesn’t hold up very well to the freezing process, so it’s better to simply make it a few days before you need it.
What sort of chutney goes well with Chicken Terrine?
If you fancy making your own, you can’t beat my Autumn Fruit Chutney! Otherwise, any good quality, tangy chutney or relish will do.
Chicken and Apricot Terrine
for the poached chicken:
- 1.2 kg whole chicken
- 2 sticks of celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 shallots, halved (leave the skin on)
- small bunch of fresh parsley
- sprig of rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- freshly ground black pepper
for the terrine:
- 12 slices prosciutto or speck
- 4 sheets ‘gold strength’ gelatine
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 small leek, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 100 g bacon, chopped
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- 100 g dried apricots
- 2 Tbsp capers
- sea salt and black pepper
- POACH THE CHICKEN: Place the chicken in a large, heavy-based saucepan with all other poached chicken ingredients. Cover with cold water, then bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 1 hour. Remove from the heat, transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside to cool. Reserve the poaching liquid.
- REDUCE POACHING LIQUID: Strain the poaching liquid through a sieve and discard the solids. Transfer 500ml (2 cups) to a clean saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes until reduced by half. Set aside.
- LINE THE TERRINE FORM: Line a 900g / 2 lb. capacity loaf pan with clingfilm. Line the base and the sides with approximately 8 slices of prosciutto. Soak the gelatine sheets in a bowl of cold water.
- COOK THE LEEK: Heat the butter in a small pan until melted. Add the leek, garlic and bacon and cook gently until softened. Season well with salt and pepper, stir through the parsley and remove from the heat.
- SHRED THE CHICKEN AND ASSEMBLE: Shred as much meat as possible from the chicken into large chunks, discarding the skin. Layer into the prepared loaf pan, alternating with the cooked leek mixture, apricots and capers.
- ADD THE GELATINE AND STOCK: Taste the reduced stock and season with salt if necessary. One by one, squeeze the excess water out of the gelatine sheets and stir into the warm stock until dissolved. Pour the stock evenly over the terrine. Top with the remaining prosciutto, then use the clingfilm to fold over the top.
- CHILL: Chill the terrine for 8 hours or overnight.
- SLICE AND SERVE: When the terrine has fully set, remove it from the fridge and invert it onto a chopping board. Pull back the clingfilm gently and use a sharp knife to slice thickly. Serve with crusty bread and a good chutney or relish.
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