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 minutes.
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 smooth.
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 doesnt 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.