Often terrines are delicious, complex, densely meaty and calorie-filled special occasion treats.  On the other hand, a light, individually molded chicken, herb-garnished terrine, can say “welcome spring” when we need a break from hearty soups and stews.

These delicate, pretty aspic salads are often offered as starters for Sunday restaurant dinners in London, or are the delicate stars of a Parisian picnic.  Recipes like this have been bouncing around for years, from old Gourmet magazines to Betty Crocker to Pinterest—in and out of fashion.  This one has Asian flavors, fresh herbs and a tangy sauce—serve cold, accompanied by a bit of pickled vegetables.

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup dry sherry
  • 2 tsps soy sauce
  • 1” peeled ginger root, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsps fennel seeds
  • A pinch of allspice
  • 6 scallions, trimmed and slivered
  • 2 -3 chicken breasts
  • salt
  • 4 ½ tsps. Unflavored gelatin
  • Fresh cilantro–washed, dried and trimmed so that only leaves on thin stems remain

Simmer broth, sherry, soy sauce, ginger, scallions, salt and fennel, covered, for 30 min.  Add chicken breasts and simmer gently, uncovered, until done—165’ internal temperature.  Remove chicken, tear into thin shreds, cover and chill.    

Aspic–Strain cooled broth and add water to make 3 cups liquid.  Sprinkle gelatin over ¼ cup cold water to soften.  Add softened gelatin to broth, heat gently, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.

Toss shredded chicken with cilantro leaves and arrange evenly in custard or other small cups—pour aspic evenly into cups.  Chill overnight—or up to 2 days.  To loosen terrines—dip each one in a pan of hot water for a few seconds, then invert on serving plate.  Spread a bit of sauce on plate.

Sauce—stir some commercial hoisin sauce with a bit of rice vinegar.

ON THE OTHER HAND—-if the broth itself is just too hard to resist, stir in a few ramen or rice noodles, toss in the shredded chicken and cilantro, and you have yourself a very, very good chicken soup!

The Kitchen Hive

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