Hearty Country Pâté
A rustic and hearty country pâté provides a true taste of regional France and is perfect as an appetizer, or, with a simple salad, a light meal.
This pâté may not be everyday fare, but it makes the perfect starter for special occasions. Don't be intimidated at the thought of making pâté; it's easier than you might think and the ingredients are all readily available.
This recipe makes two generously-sized loaves of pâté, but don't worry about making too much - it freezes well and can be stored for several months, ready to be rolled out on short notice.
Preheat the oven to 300°F.
Lay the bay leaves at an angle along the bottoms of two standard loaf pans (8-1/2 x 4-1/2).
Place the bacon slices on a work surface and, using your fingers or the flat side of a knife, gently flatten and lengthen each slice. Lay the slices across the bottoms of the loaf pans (overlapping slightly) with the ends going up and over the sides. Leave the ends dangling on either side for now.
Put the ground pork, chopped chicken thighs, and chopped chicken livers into a bowl with the other ingredients. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together gently, but thoroughly. Fill the bacon-lined pans with the mixture.
Flip the dangling bacon ends over the contents to enclose the mixture. Use additional bacon pieces to cover, if necessary.
Cover the pans tightly with aluminum foil. Place into a roasting pan large enough to accommodate both loaf pans without touching. Put the roasting pan onto a rack in the middle of the oven and fill it half full with very hot water to form a water bath.
Bake the pâté in the oven for 2 or 2 1/2 hours, or until the juices in the middle run clear when pierced with a toothpick.
Carefully remove the pans from the water bath and set aside to cool completely. When completely cool, unmold onto a large serving dish, carefully trimming away any meat solids or fat that have escaped and solidified. Wrap carefully and refrigerate until serving time.
Cut into even slices with a very sharp knife and serve with toast points, coarse grain mustard and tiny French cornichon pickles.