Rillettes of chicken on walnut toast points

  • 6 whole chicken legs
  • 1/2 cup clarified butter plus two tablespoons
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. “Compli Herb Blend for Pinot Noir” *
  • 2 tbsp. each: fresh parsley and chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 18 triangles of walnut bread, thinly sliced and toasted
  • fresh grapes and herb sprigs, for garnish, if desired

One day before serving: Place the chicken legs in a large soup pot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Place lid on pot and simmer chicken legs gently 3 to 4 hours or until meat is falling off the bones. Remove legs to a large bowl, cover and refrigerate until firm, 4 to 6 hours or overnight. Meanwhile, reserve the chicken broth for another purpose.

Day of serving:
Remove all skin, fat, gristle, bones etc. from chicken meat and discard. Process small amounts of chicken meat in a food processor to give it a rough chop. Continue until all meat is chopped, set aside. In a large, non-stick sauté pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of clarified butter over medium high heat. Add the minced onion and sauté until translucent and slightly browned. Set onion aside in a small bowl. Add the rest of the clarified butter to the sauté pan, heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken to sauté pan, spread evenly throughout pan and slowly brown meat until it is a consistent golden brown throughout. Add the clove of garlic, sauté one minute longer, then add the spice blend and sauté another minute. Remove from heat and add the onions, fresh herbs, vinegar and salt and pepper, to taste. Place rillettes mixture in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate. Every 20 minutes or so stir the rillettes and when it is somewhat firm it can be shaped. Pack the rillettes into serving ramekins or divide it in half and make two logs by rolling it in plastic wrap. Cover the rillettes tightly in plastic and refrigerate until needed, at least 2 hours. Makes about 1 pound of rillettes.

To serve:
Spread slightly softened rillettes onto walnut bread toast points. Garnish plate with fresh grapes and herb sprigs. Serve 3 toast points each to 6 guests. Remaining rillettes keeps approximately 3 weeks when stored airtight in the refrigerator and frozen up to 3 months.

*Chef’s Note: This ingredient can be purchased through the winery by calling 800-966-9365. The Herb Blends produced by the Compli company are specifically blended to enhance each wine varietal’s character and are wonderful to work with– I use them for sauces, meat rubs, etc. Unfortunately, the mix is so complex I don’t have a substitute I can recommend. Chef Kristine