Chicken and Wild Mushroom Terrine

Yield: About 10 Servings

For the Terrine:
3 tablespoons butter
8 cups mix of wild mushrooms, cleaned, diced
8 whole Cremini mushrooms
8 whole chanterelle mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup wood ear mushrooms (these are dried)
2 cups boiling water
12 ounces chicken breast, cut into cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1 cup whipping cream
8 whole morel mushrooms
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped chives

For Assembly:
14 bacon strips
Freshly cracked black pepper

To Make the Terrine:

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tbsp. butter and saute the diced mixed wild mushrooms until tender, about 4 minutes. Put mushrooms in a piece of cheesecloth and squeeze liquid into the same skillet. Set mushrooms aside.

Cook mushroom juice over low heat until thick and gelatinous to make a mushroom glaze, about 2 minutes. (This will just add extra mushroom flavor to the terrine.) Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Put the remaining 1 tbsp. butter in the same pan over high heat and sear the whole cremini mushrooms, whole chanterelles and garlic for about 2 to 3 minutes. Season and set aside.

Soak wood ear mushrooms in 2 cups boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain and cut into julienne. Set aside.

Put the chicken and 1/2 tsp. salt in a chilled food processor bowl and process until smooth. Add the egg whites, one at a time, until incorporated. With the machine on, add the cream in a slow steady stream until incorporated. (To test mixture, take a dollop on a spatula and hold it over the bowl. It should take 5 to 6 seconds for the dollop to fall back into the bowl. If needed, add a little more cream.)

Fill each of the 8 whole morels with some mousse and set aside.

Fold the mushroom glaze, herbs, wood ear mushrooms, and sauteed mix of wild mushrooms into the remaining mousse. Season to taste.

To Assemble Terrine:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Line a terrine with 8 bacon strips across the width of the pan so the bacon hangs over the edge. Then lay the remaining strips of bacon across the length of the pan with two along the bottom of the terrine and then 2 strips of bacon at either end of the pan so they hang over the edge. There should be enough over hang to fold over and cover the top of terrine once it is filled with the mousse.

Spread half the mousse into the bacon-lined terrine mould. In an alternating pattern across the top of the mousse, place the seared whole cremini mushrooms, seared whole chanterelle mushrooms and the stuffed morels.

Tap the terrine on the counter to remove the air bubbles. Spread the remaining mousse over the mushrooms. Tap terrine again. Fold over the overhanging 8 bacon strips to cover the top of the terrine. Then fold in the overhanging 4 strips of bacon at either end of the terrine on top of the terrine.

Put the terrine in a baking dish and fill with hot water so the water reaches halfway up the sides of the terrine to create a water bath. Put it in the oven and bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, or until a thermometer inserted in the centre reaches 165 to 170 degrees F.

Remove from the oven and water bath. Let cool. Invert terrine onto a platter. (If you want the bacon to be crispy and brown, brown the terrine on all sides in a large dry skillet on medium-high heat. Cook for about 3 minutes per side.

Slice and serve.

Recipe Courtesy of Christine Cushing (Food Network Canada)