This easy and decadent terrine can be made ahead for a dinner party or stress-free Christmas starter.
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
250g/9oz mixed wild mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves only
25ml/1oz good-quality Cognac
500g/1lb 2oz chicken mince
500g/1lb 2oz chicken breast, skin removed, diced
100g/3½oz minced pork fat
50g/2oz chopped fresh tarragon
2 free-range eggs plus 2 free-range egg yolks, lightly beaten
salt and freshly ground black pepper
350g/12oz streaky bacon
Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3.
Heat the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat until foaming. Add the shallots, garlic, mushrooms and thyme and fry until softened.
Add the Cognac and set it alight using a match. Allow the flames to flare up and die down. (Caution: Keep your hair and face awaty from the flames.) Continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, then strain the pan contents over a bowl and reserve both the vegetables and the cooking liquid. Set aside until completely cooled.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the minced and diced chicken, pork fat and tarragon. Once the mushroom mixture has cooled, fold it into the chicken mixture.
Add the beaten eggs and yolks and mix the chicken mixture using your hands until the eggs are fully incorporated. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Line a terrine mould with the streaky bacon, overlapping each slice and making sure you have plenty hanging over the sides of the terrine. (If your bacon is not long enough to line your terrine mould adequately, lay it onto a chopping board and stretch gently using the back of knife until it has almost doubled in length.)
Spoon the chicken mixture into the lined terrine mould, filling the terrine. Fold the overhanging slices of bacon over the chicken mixture, to cover.
Cover the terrine with a double layer of baking parchment and aluminium foil and secure tightly with string. Cover the terrine with the lid.
Place the terrine into a roasting tray. Pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the terrine mould (this is called a bain-marie).
Cook the terrine in the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a cooking thermometer inserted into the centre of the terrine reaches 72C and the juices are running clear. When the terrine is cooked, set aside to cool in the mould. When the terrine has cooled, remove it from the mould.
To serve, slice the terrine and serve with toast, cornichons and a green salad.
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