When it comes to his cooking values and principles, Rob McDaniel is a chef one could consider a modernist and a traditionalist. With the current trend of “getting back to local,” Rob is a model for sustainability and trading locally. His passion for these elements stems from his belief that good food comes from making everything from scratch– which, in his kitchen, is everything but ketchup.
- 1½ pounds chicken breast cleaned and diced into large chunks
- 8 each smoked quail breasts (deboned)*
- 4 each eggs
- 4 ounces minced onions
- 1 ounce minced black Truffle (optional)
- 6 ounces heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon pate spice
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Dark brown sugar
Serves 12 2-ounce slices
*For the smoked quail, we use a semi-boneless Manchester Farms quail, and cure in a mixture of equal parts dark brown sugar and salt. Cover the quail in the brown sugar and salt mixture for 4-5 hours, rinse and place on a resting rack in the refrigerator to air dry overnight. Smoke in a 200-degree smoker for 30 minutes and allow to cool.
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place the chicken, eggs, cream, spice, salt and pepper in a food processor and blend until smooth. Scrape out the chicken mixture and place in a bowl.
2. Remove the legs and wings from the quail leaving only the boneless breasts. The legs are great for a snack, simply heat on the grill or under the broiler. Take 4 of the quail breasts and dice them into ¼ inch cubes; add to the chicken mixture along with the minced onion and black truffle, if you are using them.
At this point, you should have your oven preheated to 300 degrees, 4 smoked quail breasts and a bowl of chicken goodness. Test the seasoning of the chicken mixture by poaching a small amount in simmering water. After tasting, adjust seasoning to your liking. You are now ready to build your terrine.
3. Fill a 2-pound terrine mold half the way full with your chicken mixture; tap on the table to remove air pockets. Layer the remaining quail breasts flat on top of the chicken mixture then cover with the remaining chicken mixture. Cover and then cook in a water bath in a 300-degree oven for 1 hour or until the internal temperature of the terrine reaches 155 degrees. Remove from the water bath and allow to cool in refrigerator for 24 hours.
4. Once cooled, run a knife around the edge of the mold then turn over to release the terrine. You may have to tap on the table. Cut slices from the loaf and serve cold with a small salad or with an assortment of pickled vegetables, coarse ground mustard, and warm bread.
With the current trend of “getting back to local,” Rob is a model for sustainability and trading locally.
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