When Cookiecrumb wrote about the chicken terrine she made from Ms Mouse's mother's recipe, I wanted immediately to try it. It just sounded lovely, nothing but happily roasted chicken and goozle, pressed into a mold, then sliced and served.
So, I roasted, picked, goozled, pressed and chilled as instructed. I stuffed some onion, celery and lemon into the roasting chicken for additional flavor but otherwise followed the simple directions to a T.
Well, I admit to an intermediate step - we ate some of the chicken for dinner first, then made the terrine with the leftovers. I noticed the first serving of the chicken was a bit tough, as one sometimes gets with truly pastured birds, but tasty, very tasty.
In a terrine, however, this was rubber chicken. I suppose that layering the meat in more than one direction didn't help but, holy cow, it was nearly impossible to slice! So, now I'm wondering if anyone out there can advise me on how to choose a chicken when you want a tender one?
I don't want to return to flabby chickens raised indoors or with limited outdoor access but I do want chickens that don't require a steak knife to cut them. This chicken, for all its flavor, would have been better in a Coq au Vin recipe where it simmered in sauce for a long time.
So, help me out here - what are the signs of a chicken that is still tender? Are there things to look for that indicate toughness? Or shall I just give up on the idea of chicken terrine that doesn't cut like rubber?