Get ready for a taste sensation.
Or, here's a tip: if you're able to bottle and market this, you could make a million!
You heard it here first...
Most people either love or hate chicken or duck liver. I love it, though when growing up, liver in our household was usually braised in an Asian-style soy sauce together with giblets. Mmm, liver and giblets...
Fast-forward to my now more 'sophisticated' tastes, and chicken liver pate is what gets me excited. This recipe by Belinda Jeffery is what her mother made for an after-school snack. Why didn't my mum ever make this? Dunno, though the liver and giblets really makes me misty-eyed...
Anyway, back to this recipe - it's so brilliant. The caramelised onion and bacon elevate the chicken liver out of the ordinary, and instead of brandy, I used Grand Marnier, and it adds a subtle sweetness to the pate that is lip-smackingly good. When served this pate on New Year's day, my guests asked why I didn't sell it, as I'd make the proverbial million. Well, I don't really fancy spending my days sieving pate, but the thought is true - this pate is that good.
Chicken Liver Pate
makes approx 3 cups
500g chicken livers, trimmed, sinew removed
3/4 cup (185ml) milk
1/2 cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 brown onions, chopped
2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 bacon rashers, rind removed, chopped
1 tblsp thyme leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
2 tblsp brandy or Grand Marniner
1 1/2 tblsp balsamic vinegar
170g chilled cultured unsalted butter, chopped, plus 80g melted, cooled
1. Place chicken livers in bowl, cover with milk and refrigerate while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and bacon, and cook, stirring, for 12 minutes until the onion caramelises. Mix in thyme, then add brandy (or Grand Marnier) and 1 tablespoon of water, stirring to deglaze the pan. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Wipe pan clean and return to high heat with remaining oil. Drain chicken livers and pat dry with paper towel, then cook for 2-3 minutes each side until browned and slightly crusty but still pink inside. Add to the bowl with the onion mixture and season well with salt and pepper.
4. Return pan to heat, splash with vinegar to deglaze the pan again. Then scrape the juices into the bowl with the livers. Puree mixture very finely in blender or food processor with the chilled, chopped butter. For an extra-silky texture use a spatula or spoon to force the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl.
5. Smooth the pate into four 180ml ceramic pots or a 750ml dish. Pour a thin film of melted butter on top to seal, then top with a thyme sprig. Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Serve with crusty bread.
recipe adapted from delicious (March 2010)
Ingredients, including Grand Marnier, milk for soaking the chicken livers, bacon, onion, garlic, thyme, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Lurpak-brand butter is cultured and unsalted.
The chopped onions and garlic prior to cooking.
The pate does not take long to make, but I did spend 45 minutes sieving it to produce a silken smooth result (and yes, it was worth doing!)
Take the pate out of the fridge a few minutes before you want to serve it; the butter seal will soften a bit, making it easier to spoon out.
Serve the pate with toast points or slices of baguette. I found that fresh, soft bread complemented this rich, smooth, gorgeous pate the best.
Tabitha cat has developed a habit of watching while I cook. And also a habit of investigating the end result. Fortunately, the pate was covered with a hygenic layer of plastic wrap before she found them.