This is an ultra- rich appetizer, serve
in small portions.
Cold Mousse Of Chicken And Pistachios
10 oz. chicken fat, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 or 5 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 large bay leaf, crushed
3/4 t. black peppercorns
6 oz. chicken-breast meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 C. sliced shallots (3 or 4 medium shallots)
10 oz. chicken livers, cleaned of sinews
1 t. salt
1 or 2 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed and chopped (about 1 teaspoon)
2 T. Cognac
1/4 C. shelled pistachios, plus more for decoration
Cook chicken fat in a large skillet over medium to high heat until most of the
fat is rendered and the pieces of fat are brown. Meanwhile, in a spice- or
coffee-grinder, process thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns until ground into a
powder. (Alternately, crush to a powder with a mortar and pestle.) Add the
chicken pieces to the skillet, and cook for 1 minute more.
Add shallots, chicken livers, powdered spices, salt and garlic to skillet. Cook
over medium heat, stirring, for about 2 minutes. The livers should be barely
cooked through, still pink in the center. Remove from heat and let cool for 2
Transfer contents of skillet to a food processor and emulsify for 30 seconds,
until smooth. Add Cognac and process only until ingredients are well blended and
Push mixture through smallest-holed disk of a food mill or a fine-mesh strainer
set over a bowl, then fold in the pistachios. Cover mousse and refrigerate until
it begins to set. Mix well to assure that it doesn’t look broken, and when it is
smooth, pack it into a 3- to 4-cup terrine or gratin dish. Cover tightly with
plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. If desired, decorate the mousse with
additional pistachios — whole, halved or crushed.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.