A couple of weeks ago at our Soter Vineyards Harvest Dinner one of our hors d’oeuvres was chicken mortadella. We used the chickens from MSR Ranch, the biodynamic farm at Soter Vineyards. Over the season we got to work very closely with Nadine Basile, the viticulturalist and farmer for Soter Vineyards. To finish off the season, we cooked a dinner at the vineyard using everything that grew on the farm: from the Freedom Ranger chickens, to the carrots that we used to make the agrodolce that was served with the mortadella and everything else to make up the meal. We thought this recipe would be great to share.
As the mortadella was a bite-sized serving, we used hog casings, but traditionally mortadella is done in a large format casings.
See photos from the LETumEAT Soter Vineyard Harvest Dinner here.
335g boneless, skinless chicken (about 2 whole chickens)
335g pork meat diced into 1 inch cubes
150g pork backfat
90g pork skin emulsion – see directions below
50g bacon (optional)
50g foie gras torchon (optional)
3g pink salt
20g spice mix: coriander, clove, star anise, allspice, white pepper
4 shallots (sliced)
4 garlic cloves (sliced)
1 lb dry ice
2 lengths of hog casings – hog casings can be purchased from or ordered through most local butcher shops
4 quarts of chicken stock (for poaching) – see recipe below
Pork Skin Emulsion
Take 2 lbs of pork skin. Clean fat from the skin
In a saucepan, cover skin with water
I like to add star anise, clove, a piece of dried vanilla bean, bay leaf
Let simmer until you can pierce the skin without much pressure
Once the skin is cooked to the appropriate texture, grind on the finest die with the meat grinder
Cover with plastic wrap in a bowl and keep in a warm spot in the kitchen (i.e. above the oven)
Run in the food processor until smooth and cool in the fridge
bones from two chickens (roasted)
1 lb yellow onions
1/2 lb carrots
1/2 lb celery
1/2 bunch thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 tsp black pepper
Combine ingredients and let simmer for 4-6 hours
Strain and reserve for poaching
Mixing & Grinding the Meat
Dice chicken, pork, backfat, skin emulsion and bacon
Combine all meat in a bowl
Season with salt, pink salt, spice mix
Set mixture into freezer to chill
While the meat is chilling, take shallots and garlic and sweat until translucent. Let cool
Set up the meat grinder with the finest die possible
Combine chilled meat with shallot & garlic mixture and process through grinder
Place ground mixture back into the freezer
Note: The purpose of putting the meat in the freezer is to keep it as cold as possible because once you start to emulsify the mortadella the food processor will generate heat. The colder the meat is, the better emulsified the base will be (which is also where the dry ice will come into play)
Divide the batch into six balls
Once portioned, keep in the freezer
Set up food processor
Have a bowl set up with a couple of quarts of ice water with a ladle
Take your 1 lb of dry ice and break with a mallet into smaller pieces
Take one of the balls of mortadella from the freezer
Spread it evenly in the food processor
Add a 2 oz ladle of ice water and start the emulsifying (food processor on high speed)
Add a couple of pieces of dry ice
The emulsification process will take about 30-60 seconds. You’ll notice that the meat no longer looks like it’s ground, but more like a forcemeat paste
Note: If during this process you notice that the emulsification is starting to warm up, add dry ice as needed
Once everything is emulsified (mixed together) pull out the first batch and repeat
To check for seasoning, heat a saute pan, take a small amount of your forcemeat and cook it off
Adjust the season as needed
Return mixture to refrigerator
Sausage Stuffing & Poaching
Set up the sausage stuffer
Take two lengths of hog casings and rinse with lukewarm water. Run the water through the casings as shown in this Youtube video.
Once the casings are clean, take the mortadella and pack into the sausage stuffer.
Case the mortadella and portion it into links.
Once the mortadella is cased, I like to let the links air dry in the fridge overnight.
The next day, take your chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Poach the links for 7-10 minutes on a very low simmer. Adding the links into boiling water will split the casings. After they have been poached, let cool.