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No Sense or Sensibility: Chinese Black Chicken Rillettes with Quail Egg Salad

July 3, 2011 by David Bridges

Sense and Sensibility. Some days I am filled with one and some days I am filled with both. Some times I’m just filled with IT. But it is in the times of downtrodden depression that I seem to have the magical ability to conjure up neither. All of our recipes and journeys up to this point have been filled with luxury. But in a sly sort of way, our luxurious meals have still has been fairly economical. The Breast of Lamb recipe literally cost me $12 and it fed 4 people comfortably. The Rooter to The Tooter is luxury for the intelligent. Of coarse every so often we must throw caution to the wind and really splurge. What’s the first thing one does when he has been asked not to return to his job? Buy $25 worth of Chinese black chicken to make rillettes that serves one, of coarse.
Probably some where below in the comments section our beloved ScottyRockYourBody will make a concise case as to why my behavior actually shows me to have plenty of Sense and Sensibility. His point will be great and from the outside looking in, make an enormous amount of sense. Just bear in mind, for he does not live in reality. He lives in the Abacos.
As I sit here and take in the luxury of the rillettes on my tongue while my 2 pups, Rooter and Tooter nap in my lap. My gorgeous fiancé searching through the cellar for something special, I really do feel a hell of a lot better about the rising sun tomorrow and whichever new adventure it will hold.

Black Chicken Rillettes with Quail Egg Salad
Serves one with a spirit that can’t be broken and talent that can’t be denied

2 whole Chinese black chickens
2qts lard
Chinese five spice
1 can(15oz) of quail eggs
2T green onion chopped
T dill pickle relish
2T sweet pickle relish
2t fresh ginger minced
3T mayonnaise
Kosher salt
Olive oil

Take the whole birds and cut them into their respective pieces. Cut off the neck, then the legs and split the breasts. Place all the pieces into a pot and add the lard. Mark your flame to medium heat and after the lard has melted make sure all the pieces of chicken or fully submerged. What a wonderful fantasy those 2 chickens are living. As the fat starts to jiggle like my belly when I walk, turn down the heat to low. If the fat starts to jiggle like my belly when I dance, then the music is too loud and must be turned down. We are poaching not frying. Let the birds poach for 2 hours. Turn off the heat and let the black chickens cool in the fat.
Remove the birds from their fantasy of fat and pick all the meat and skin from the bones. The skin is fairly thin and so I see no reason not to invite it to the party too. Take 2/3rds of your chicken and shred it in a food processor until it is fine and smooth. Take the other 1/3 of your chicken and shred it by hand. Mix the 2 together and add some of the poaching lard until a smooth spreadable paste consistency is achieved. Add the salt just until it tastes slightly more salty than you want and the Chinese five spice to taste slightly more spiced than you want. The subsequent chilling will compensate your palate later on. Place the mixture into a crock and top with a layer of poaching fat. The fat will seal the rillettes from the oxygen and the bacteria that follows it. Chill the rillettes crock until the time comes.
Make the egg salad by rough chopping the quail eggs and mixing in a bowl with the green onion, relish, ginger and mayonnaise. A pinch of salt wouldn’t hurt.
The chosen vessel for consumption is the crostini. I like the “chewiness” of frying as opposed to baking for this recipe. Cut some ½ inch thick slices of crusty artisan bread and get a ¼ cup of olive oil hot in a pan. Fry the bread on both sides until nice and brown and pile them up for later.
Gather your puppies and put them on your lap. Arrange the rillettes, bread and egg salad on the arm of your lazy boy. Give your gorgeous fiancé some pathetic look that will make her go fetch a bottle of wine. Can anything really be that bad?


“Hard work is for people who have no talent.”
George Carlin



  1. Diana says:

    Mmmmmm rillettes. I haven’t had those since France, didn’t know they were so painless to make! It’s like making chicken soup, except replacing the broth with uh, lard!


  2. scottyrockyourbody says:

    davey my friend. yes sir your emotional pontification stirs your soul and heart into your literary expression like no other. you can be sad and still cook like a master. because after all, after love, there is only cuisine……

    and it heals like no elixir can.

    there is another tool however and it directly relates to the only true elixir and that is indulgence.

    our only true duty as humans is simple – it is that of happiness. period. and there is no attached responsibility to be conjured up. no “what about the kids”. kids dont need shoes, a relatively new invention to humanoids, the only need love and happiness.

    what is “sense and sensibility” anyway? the ability to manage and compartmentalize stress and duty and 401k’s…??

    i applaud those who take their last $300 to their name and chill down a bottle of krug rose before i laud those who must have their last shilling pried from their crusted dead fingers.
    shallow retail therapy is only for those mental midgets out there who create drama that doesnt exist. a true honorable depressed man will go out and buy an african-china duck and put his hands on it and whip it into a sensual slow simmered nectarious gift to the heavens and during the long process will whip his beautiful woman into fits of pleasure that only can be finished with a spread of black chicken rillettes and said bottle of blush french bubbles.

    cooking really is a magic act that fulfills our need for luxury. even when penniless the magic is still available. and that gastronomic transformation will mend our woes every single fuckin time.

    cheers from paradise!!

  3. Fellow Traveler says:

    Thank you for this recipe to comfort the heart and soothe the soul. I was also recently asked not to return to my place of work several weeks ago, and have taken solace in making my own tortillas and pita bread with bacon drippings. It really has helped…

  4. christhefoodstampgourmet says:

    yes we are the unemployed and passionate we who strive to eat with class while scraping the change from our couches and foodstamps we are grateful for the simple things like actually having a couch to scrape the change from or a little assistance from the government while going thru medical difficulties. Our gratitude extends to the ability to make food that heals the soul and body equally. My gratitude extends a little further for having you and Scotty as friends and mentors. Thanks Dave for what you do and keep it up.

    • scottyrockyourbody says:

      chris dude you GOTTA start a blog called the food stamp gourmet!!!!! you wont be on food stamps for long if you do!!!

      • christhefoodstampgourmet says:

        hell scotty old dirty bastard from wu tang clan was shown on mtvs cribs going from his studio and ghetto palace to the corner store to cash his government check so we ghetto superstars can apparently have our stamps and eat em too!!!alas i dont even know the process or what to do to make money from waxing poetic about the love and passion i feel from cooking and making people have an emotional connection for the stuff i create be it art or food and my grammar is pretty piss poor too Earnest Hemingway got away with run on sentences but he had talent all i have is experience.

  5. Hi Dave. How much do those chickens weigh? And the lard quarts, is that solid or melted? When I get back to Sens, I’m going to try to vaguely “poach” this recipe.

    Absolutely fabulous!

    • David Bridges says:

      Hey Rosemary, the chickens were kinda a “one size fits all” situation. I would say they were 1.5-2lbs with everything still attached. The lard I use is melted and comes melted from a Mexican market where they are making chicharones.

  6. scottyrockyourbody says:

    chris – your good friend dave has a blog called therootertothetooter and he can prolly tellya how to get it started :))

  7. christhefoodstampgourmet says:

    well sir i have no further excuses i will contact our southern savant tomorrow and pick his brain a bit

  8. […] and dares to go where no man has gone before.   His recipe for Chinese Black Chicken Rillettes fascinated and inspired imitation, to some extent.  No black chicken in Sens, no sirree.  But we […]

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