Although a Chicken Aspic is nothing more than a jellied and glorified cooked chicken, it is an elegant dish, at home on the most sumptuous buffet. It pairs well with several dozen other cold offerings that come to mind, including salads of shrimp or crab or lobster in mayonnaise, tomato salads, cucumber salads. Or cold, sliced baked ham. Or Dill-Cured Salmon. And it is also the kind of dish that goes with fine dry wine, white or red. Not to mention brut champagne. This aspic is traditionally served with mustard or horseradish sauce.
Chicken Aspic with Green Peas & Egg
- 1 whole free-range, organic chicken (about 4 pounds), washed, giblets discarded
- 2 carrots, cut in large chunks
- 3 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
- 2 large white onions, quartered
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 parsley roots, halved
- 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 4 tsp of kosher salt or more to taste
- 1 pack of unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cup green peas
- 1 hard-boiled egg
- fresh dill for serving
- capers and cherry tomatoes for serving (optional)
Place the chicken in a large stockpot over medium-low heat, pour in only enough cold water to cover (about 3 to 3 1/2 quarts); too much will make the broth taste weak, and bring it to a boil. Skim any impurities that rise to the surface and fat; toss in the vegetables, thyme, bay leaves, salt, and peppercorns, and allow it to slowly come to a boil. Lower the heat to low and gently simmer, partially covered, for about one hour until chicken is very soft.
Carefully remove the chicken to a cutting board. When it’s cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones. Hand-shred the meat into a container.
Carefully strain the broth through a fine sieve into another pot to remove the vegetable solids.
Sprinkle the gelatin powder over 1/4 cup of broth and let it bloom. Meanwhile, warm the chicken stock up to a boil. When the broth is hot, add the gelatin to it and mix well so that the gelatin can dissolve properly in the broth. Let it cool down.
Pour a 1/2 inch layer of gelatin-broth at the bottom of a nice aspic mold and put in the fridge to solidify. After about 15 minutes, take the mold out and place egg slice and green peas on the bottom of the mold. Cover with gelatin-broth and put back in the fridge for another 15 minutes. Take the mold back out and divide the shredded chicken meat between your aspic molds. Then using a ladle, evenly pour the rest of the gelatin-broth over the meat. Let the aspic refrigerate overnight.