(Pâté en Croûte)
SERVES 6 – 8
Hard-cooked eggs dress up this version of the classic French pâté in a pastry crust, a specialty of the region of Berry in central France. Serve the pâté warm or cold, accompanied by a green salad.
8 oz. smoked bacon
1 12-oz. duck breast, fat removed
2 6-oz. chicken breasts
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup Sancerre or other dry, acidic white wine
1 tsp. crushed coriander seeds
1⁄2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. thyme leaves
1⁄4 cup chopped chervil
1⁄4 cup chopped chives
2 tbsp. crème fraîche
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup flour
1 lb. frozen puff pastry, defrosted but cold
3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
1. Cut bacon, duck breast, and chicken into medium pieces. Dress with oil and wine, coating pieces well. Marinate 1 hour in a bowl in the refrigerator.
2. Preheat oven to 400°. Drain meat, discarding marinade. Put meat, coriander, nutmeg, thyme, chervil, chives, 2 of the eggs, crème fraîche, and salt and pepper in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until finely chopped.
3. On a floured work surface, unfold cold puff pastry and cut into two rectangles. Roll both sheets of pastry into 8" × 11" shapes. Place one pastry rectangle on a nonstick baking sheet. Divide meat mixture in half and spread half on pastry. Put hard-cooked eggs in a line down middle of meat. Pat remaining meat over eggs. Pull up pastry on the sides, then completely cover with a second rectangle of pastry. Cut off excess pastry, wet edges with water, and press together. Cut a small hole in center of pâté and place a small piece of rolled parchment in it to allow steam to escape during baking. Beat remaining egg with a little water and brush wash over pâté. Cut decorative shapes out of excess pastry and press onto pâté.
4. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, then lower heat to 350° and cook for another 20 minutes. The pâté should rest for 30 minutes before serving, so that it is firm enough to slice.