Chicken Liver Pâté
while out on one of our impulsive grocery shopping sprees, we were looking for inspiration to take back to our test kitchen. while we were at it, we walked by the poultry aisle, chanced upon chicken liver and found ourselves thinking aloud, why not chicken liver pâté?! it’s something restaurants and restobars steeply sell on their menu cards under appetizers or entrées and while it may look exquisite, plated from a supposedly intensely elaborate process, it’s au contraire, quite actually an inexpensive and quick chicken liver purée, delicately spiced, modest yet flavorful. so give it a shot, you’ll be serving it someday at a luncheon or dinner party thrown by you, giving them restaurants a run for their money!
approx. 350 gm chicken livers, well-trimmed, sinewy parts removed and well cleaned
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1-2 bay leaves
a few sprigs of thyme (leaves alone with stems discarded)
a few sage leaves
salt and freshly-ground pepper, to season
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
30 ml of cream
150 gm of butter for preserve coat + addtnl. 1 tbsp or so for sauteing
100-150 ml of whiskey or brandy
1 In a medium-sized saucepan, heat up about a tbsp of butter on low flame taking care not to burn, add the roughly chopped onion, crushed garlic, bay leaves, thyme and sage leaves and saute until the onions are translucent. Add the chicken livers and turn up the heat until the livers are cooked in the middle, do not overcook. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg and a cube of butter. Remove from the heat, and let it stand, for about 5 minutes before tipping it all into a food processor leaving the bay leaves in the pan.
2 Place the pan back on the heat and add to it 100-150 ml of whiskey or brandy and let it heat up and bubble until it has been reduced to about 2 – 3 tbsp of liquid. Add the reduced liquor to the food processor along with 30 ml of cream. Process until coarsely pureed and then smooth. Check seasoning and alter if found necessary. Transfer the pâté into a large ceramic or glass bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate for atleast 30 mins until it firms up.
3 In a small sauce pan, gently melt 150 gms of butter along with fresh sage and thyme leaves. Leave to cool for a few mins and then pour over the pâté until a protective film has formed. Refrigerate again until it’s ready to be served. Toast some slices of brown bread when ready to eat, slather generous portions of pâté over them and serve.
we found our chicken liver pâté to be the perfect accompaniment to toast. its exceedingly smooth and buttery feel may run you the risk of borderline gluttony but that’s something we had long made peace with. make sure you use fresh herbs instead of the dried ones that come off a bottle, they are way more flavorful and make for a pretty chicken liver pâté.