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Monday, August 24, 2009

Chicken Liver Pate

Loads and loads of Lovely Little Livers for the Liver Lovers
(and by Liver Lovers we mean our friend Alan) My mum used to make this recipe for posh dinner parties in the early 90s. I LOVED it, but it always ran out too fast. Its not something that most people would allow themselves to eat much of, so for our dinner party I decided to make loads so that everyone could get a big generous slice. I made this a few days before the party (it keeps for up to a week in the fridge as long as you seal it with the melted butter) Ok, I wasn't sure how many people we would actually have to feed, but I knew it would be between 10 and 15, so I decided to err on the side of caution and make a huge batch. You could probably half or even quarter these measurements but actually, its so delicious that you will want to have loads. We even had some left overs and last night we benefited from a post pub midnight snack of pate on toast... It must have soaked up the booze good because this morning I am miraculously hang-over-less! I don't have a blender, just a humble stick blender but it worked perfectly for this and the pate was lovely and smooth. Ingredients:
2kg chicken livers

2 onions
(or 6
shallots)
3 cloves garlic
2 springs rosemary (other herbs like thyme or juniper berries would also work)
1/2 a wine class of
hennessy (or similar cognac)
1 big block of butter


Method:
Start by chopping the onions (shallots are better but they didn't have them in Tesco) really really finely. As fine as you can get them. Same thing for the garlic. Mely a big knob of butter in a frying pan and sweat the onions and garlic and herbs until they are translucent and soft. Don't brown them.

Transfer them to the bowl of a food processor ( or, if like me, you only have a stick blender, to a normal bowl)
Rinse the chicken livers and trim off any fat or gristle (if you can possibly bear it... yek!) dry them on kitchen towels. Melt about an ounce knob of butter in the same pan, and gently fry the livers (i did them in two batches) turn them over, they should be browned on the outside and slightly pink in the middle (but not too pink! if you are not sure leave them in longer).

Transfer the cooked livers and the melted butter and cooking juices into the bowl with the onions. Then return the pan to the heat, pour in the cognac and
allow it to bubble for a few seconds. Tip this into the bowl and whizz everything together until as smooth as you can get it. Then add about 1/2 of the butter you have left and whizz it all up again. The colour will go lighter and the consistency will be looser.

Line a bread tin with cling film and pour the mixture in. If you prefer, you could serve this in individual ramekins, in which case there is no need for the cling film.Using a palette knife,
smooth down the top of the pate so its as flat and level as you can get it. Melt the rest of the butter in a clean pan or in the microwave. Pour the melted butter into the mold and make sure that it completely covers every bit of the pate. This will seal the pate so it will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

We served the pate with a little salad, a nasturtium each from the front garden (cause we're being wanky!) , and melba toast, which is great because it stops your guests from filling up too much on bread. To make melba toast, get a sliced pan of 'killer' white bread. Toast the slices as usual, then cut off the crusts and using a thin serrated knife, cut through the middle of the toast so you now have two thinner slices the same size. Toast the untoasted sides of these under the grill. Be careful, they burn quick!

3 comments:

Alexandra Donald said...

The meal was amazing! Hope to see the Feta/Pepper tart up here soon as I'm definitely going to have a go at making that. Thanks again!

Lu said...

yes it was a sad day
when it went away
ooooh pate
a wonderful hangoverless day

Thanks Alex, was a fun night, we're catching up on the blogging of it.

hopefuly we'll get to the tart before the weekend

Glad you enjoyed

aoife mc said...

Ok I have to get off this blog, I'm too hungry and have tart envy.

Looks like you cooked up an amazing meal, fair play for cooking for so many folks. I get stressed cooking for two, let alone 14 or however many you had over! I salute you and your cooking partners. Good work.