Jellied Chicken Recipe
Jellied Chicken, also known as Chicken Aspic, is a classic dish that dates back many years. Its origins can be traced back to early European cuisine, where the use of gelatin as a food ingredient became popular. The process of creating gelatin from animal bones was discovered in the 17th century, leading to the development of a variety of jellied dishes.
Fun Fact: The popularity of jellied dishes peaked in the early 20th century, often being served as elegant appetizers or main courses at formal dinner parties.
To make Jellied Chicken, begin by boiling a whole chicken in as little water as possible. The goal is to create a concentrated and flavorful broth. As the chicken cooks, the meat will become tender and start falling off the bones. This is a sign that the chicken is ready to be used in the dish.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the broth and let it cool slightly. Then, chop the chicken rather finely into small pieces. Season the chopped chicken with salt and pepper to enhance the flavors.
Prepare a mold for the jellied chicken by coating it with a thin layer of cooking oil or non-stick spray. This will make it easier to remove the dish from the mold later on.
Now it's time to layer the ingredients in the mold. Begin by placing a layer of chopped chicken at the bottom of the mold. Then, add a layer of hard-boiled eggs that have been sliced into thin rounds. The eggs add a creamy texture and additional protein to the dish.
Continue layering the mold with alternating layers of chopped chicken and eggs until the mold is nearly full. The layers create a beautiful visual presentation when the dish is unmolded.
After layering the ingredients, it's time to work on the aspic, which is a type of savory jelly used to set and encase the ingredients. To prepare the aspic, take the leftover broth from boiling the chicken and boil it down until the quantity is reduced by half. This process intensifies the flavors of the broth.
While the reduced broth is warm, add a quarter cup of aspic. Aspic is a clear jelly made from gelatin or agar-agar, which helps the dish set and achieve the desired texture. Pour the warm aspic into the mold over the layers of meat and eggs, ensuring that it fills all the gaps.
Finally, cover the mold and place it in the refrigerator to set overnight. The cold temperature will cause the aspic to solidify and set, creating a jellied texture that holds the layers of chicken and eggs together. The flavors will meld and intensify as the dish chills.
Once the jellied chicken has set, it is ready to be unmolded and served. To unmold the dish, carefully run a knife around the edges to loosen it from the mold. Place a serving plate over the mold, hold firmly, and invert the plate and mold together. Gently tap the mold to release the jellied chicken onto the plate.
Jellied Chicken is a delightful dish that can be served as an appetizer or a main course. Its unique texture and flavors make it an excellent choice for special occasions or elegant dinners. Serve it alongside a light salad or with crusty bread for a complete meal.
Similar dishes to Jellied Chicken include Pate en Croute, a French dish made with minced meat encased in pastry, and Terrine, a type of meatloaf that is often served cold and sliced. These dishes share a similar concept of setting meat or ingredients in a gelatinous mixture to create a delightful and visually appealing result.