Ironically, I absolutely love chicken liver pâté. However, I do not like the list of extra ingredients typically found in commercially-produced pâtés. They often contain very high levels of fat, salt and a range of preservatives to extend the shelf-life of this highly perishable product. Reducing the amount of unnecessary ingredients is just one good reason for making your own pâté. Fantastic flavour is an even better one. Cheap and definitely cheerful, this is recession-proof luxury at its best.
Covered, this dish keeps in the fridge for up to five days and is perfect on crostini as a little nibble with drinks, or smeared on fresh baguette and drizzled with Cointreau Cumberland Sauce (easy recipe here ... ) as a quick luxurious snack, or with salad and gherkins.
Optional: I place the livers in a bowl and cover with fresh milk for about 30 minutes. I drain them and pat them dry before starting the recipe. This mellows the flavour a little. You can skip this step if you like. It’s not strictly necessary.
Also, I’ve used Apple Schnapps in this recipe because apple and liver are wonderful bedfellows. However, you could use whiskey or brandy instead. Just remember to take the pan off the heat before adding the alcohol to avoid igniting it. You would look strange without eyebrows over the party season!
For approximately 500g of deliciously simple pâté you will need...
... a food processor or blender
... a food processor or blender
500g chicken livers
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 teaspoons capers, rinsed and dried
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
50mls apple schnapps
A further 50g of butter, at room temperature
50mls single cream
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. First prepare the chicken livers, trimming away and discarding any white sinew.
2. Melt 50g of butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the chopped onion. Cook gently for 5 – 7 minutes or until soft and just beginning to turn golden. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cooked onion from the pan, placing it in a bowl.
3. Add the chicken livers to the pan, making sure to leave gaps between each piece so they fry rather than boil. (The livers tend to pop and splatter so you’ll need an apron.) Cook gently for about 2 minutes each side or until golden all over and pink but not bloody in the middle. Be careful not to overcook as the texture will turn grainy. Return the cooked onions to the pan. Add the capers, garlic, thyme and mustard and cook for a further minute. Remove the pan from the heat while you add the apple schnapps (or whiskey, or brandy). Return to the heat and cook for a further minute or so until the liquid in the pan looks ‘syrupy’. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
4. When cooled, place the contents of the pan in a food processor. Add the remaining butter, cream , pepper and salt, and process in short bursts until you have reduced the mixture to a smooth paste. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Transfer to a dish and cover with cling film, making sure the wrap touches the surface to prevent it discolouring.
Note: You could, instead, cover the surface of the pate with clarified butter which sets into a seal when chilled. This looks pretty but significantly adds to the fat content... although it is Christmas...Pin It