I’ve never posted about these rillettes, but they are awesome. They are also a 3-day recipe. Not a hard recipe, but you really do need a good 3 days to chill things and let things rest and congeal.
Rillettes is a way of cooking meats in their own fat. Kind of like a pate. These rillettes are good with crusty bread and brie and pickled vegetables.
I love this dish for the fact that, even though it takes a long time, it’s hard to mess up. I mean, if you add that much butter to something, it’s bound to be good, right? We’ve made this for dinner club and for John’s parents. If you do everything it says, you really can’t mess it up. You want to cook the chicken, shred it, cook it some more with other things to make it delicious. It’s a no brainer! Plus, it’s very impressive. It’s called “rillettes” which sounds really difficult.
It’s not for those on a diet, or lactose intolerant. There’s a lot of butter in it. A lot. You should really go for a run after you eat it. Or maybe the next day, because you will be too full.
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme plus 4 large thyme sprigs
- 4 bay leaves (preferably fresh); 2 finely chopped, 2 left whole
- 1 5-pound whole chicken (preferably organic), rinsed, patted dry
- 1 cup chopped carrot
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 6 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, divided
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped shallots (7 to 8 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- Shredded braised chicken (from recipe above)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- Crusty country bread slices or baguette slices
- Purchased pickles
FOR BRAISED CHICKEN
Combine 2 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons chopped thyme, and 2 chopped bay leaves in small bowl. Rub herb mixture all over chicken; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and chill overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pot and cook until browned on all sides, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add carrot, celery, onion, and garlic; sauté until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Stir in 4 thyme sprigs and 2 whole bay leaves. Add wine and boil until almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add enough broth to come halfway up sides of chicken; bring to boil. Cover pot; place in oven and braise until chicken is tender, turning chicken once, about 1 hour.
- Remove pot from oven; transfer chicken to bowl and cool slightly. Strain braising liquid into large saucepan. Boil until liquid is reduced to 2 1/2 cups, about 20 minutes. Remove skin and bones from chicken; shred chicken meat into bite-size pieces and reserve for chicken rillettes. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill chicken and braising liquid separately.
FOR CHICKEN RILLETTES
Melt 1/4 cup butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add remaining 3/4 cup butter to skillet and allow to melt. Stir in tarragon and thyme, then shredded chicken and reserved 2 1/2 cups braising liquid. Simmer until chicken is very moist and tender and liquid is slightly reduced but some liquid still remains, about 5 minutes. Season mixture to taste with salt and pepper. Cool slightly. Mix in parsley and chives.
Pack chicken rillettes into large glass jar or divide among smaller jars. Chill uncovered until cold, then seal jar and keep chilled. DO AHEAD Can be made 5 days ahead. Keep chilled. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Serve rillettes with crusty bread and pickles.