Difficulty: Medium

Paris-based chef Yohan Lastre shares this heavenly savoury recipe for buttery flaky pastry stuffed with juicy chicken and pork mixed with fragrant spices and pepper, studded with pistachios and topped with a port jelly. Is your mouthwatering yet? Well, be patient – it takes three days to make. But boy, it’s worth the wait.

Ingredients

For the gelée

  • 1 1⁄8 ounces (32 g) gelatin sheets
  • 4¼ cups (1L) chicken or vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) ruby port

For the flaky pastry dough

  • 11 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (160 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch sugar and 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (50 g) water
  • 2½ cups (250 g) all-purpose flour

For the filling

  • 12 ounces (350 g) boneless and skinless chicken breasts
  • 10½ ounces (300 g) boneless chicken thighs
  • 12 ounces (350 g) pork belly, trimmed of fat
  • 12 ounces (350 g) pork tenderloin
  • 1 ounce (28 g) fleur de sel sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper (about 15 turns of the pepper mill)
  • 1 pinch quatre épices spice blend
  • 1⁄3 cup (80 ml) white wine
  • 4¼ ounces (120 g) pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon (14 g) butter, softened, to grease the mould

Equipment

  • 1 rectangular metal pâté en croûte mould measuring 12¼ by 3 inches (31 by 8 cm)
  • Or 1 oval metal pâté en croûte mould measuring 8¼ by 5 inches (21 by 13 cm)
  • 1 instant-read thermometer

Directions

Two days before

Make the flaky pastry dough

1
Melt the butter, let it cool, then pour it into a mixing bowl.

2Add the remaining ingredients. Beat for 20 seconds, pour it out onto a work surface, and knead it with your hands just until a dough forms. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator.

Make the filling

1
Cut all the meat into 1inch (3 cm) pieces.

2Process the pork belly and chicken thighs through a meat grinder fitted with a grinding plate with large holes.

3Combine the meat with the remaining filling ingredients, wrap the mixture in plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator.

 

The day before

1Grease the mould with the butter. Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1⁄8 to ¼ in (4 to 5mm), then line the mould with the dough, going all the way up the sides.

2Scrape the filling into the mould (do not fold the dough over the top).

3Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

4Bake the pâté for about 25 minutes, or until beautifully golden brown, then lower the oven temperature to 275°F (140°C) and bake until the centre reaches 149°F (65°C) on the instant-read thermometer.

5Meanwhile, make the gelée. Melt the gelatin in the warm broth, then stir in the port.

6Remove the pâté from the oven and fill it with the warm gélee.

7Repeat this step four or five times in about 30-minute intervals.

8Refrigerate the pâté and any remaining gelée overnight.

The next day

1Heat the remaining gelée and pour it over the top of the pâté.

2Place the pâté back in the refrigerator until the gelée has set.

3To unmould the pâté en croûte, gently warm the mould in the oven to loosen the pâté crust from the pan. Slice and serve.

The crust

The pâté is made with a base of veal and pork enriched with poultry or wild game and wrapped in a pâte brisée (flaky pastry) or a pâte feuilletée (puff pastry). The dough was first used only for cooking and preserving the meat it encased. It was not until the Middle Ages that the crust was made for eating. In the Viandier, the bible of Medieval cuisine, Charles V’s cook, Guillaume Tirel, also known as Taillevent, developed no fewer than 25 recipes for meat pâtés.

CHEF’S TIP

For a pâté that is stronger in flavour, add 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of brandy.

IMAGE ©AURORE CARRIC, MARIELLE GAUDRY


First printed in our sister publication France Today

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