Saturday, February 5, 2011

Chicken Liver Pâté

Another deceptively simple recipe. This delicious spread goes on fresh bread, endives, or even sliced cucumbers.

You Will Need:
10" saute pan
blender or food processor

1 1/2 lbs. of chicken livers (Perdue sells these in a small blue container in some supermarkets, but organic is better if you can get it)
2 large shallots, diced as small as possible
2 cloves of garlic, diced as small as possible
1/4 cup of brandy or cognac
1/4 tsp. of ground cloves
1 heaping tbsp. of fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup of heavy cream (hey, it's French!)
1 stick of room temperature unsalted butter (I said it was French!)
salt and pepper to taste

Making the Pâté:
Put the chicken livers into a strainer and rinse very well under cold water. Trim the chicken only want the liver portions. Get rid of all fatty pieces...or anything that doesn't feel like liver. Melt 1/2 of the stick of butter over medium heat. Saute the shallots and garlic together (make sure you do not brown the shallots...if they start to brown or fry lower the heat). You should be stirring constantly at this point. Season with the salt, pepper, ground cloves, and thyme. After 15 minutes the shallots should be very soft. Add the chicken livers to the pan. As soon as they start changing color add the brandy. *NOTE: never pour hard liquor from a bottle. Try not to burn your eyebrows off! Simmer until there is no more blood coming out of the livers, and no smell of raw alcohol coming from the pan. This will take about 15 minutes, at this point you should add 1/4 cup of the heavy cream and stir it in. Wait 2 minutes and shut off the heat. Pour the entire pan into the bowl of a food processor or a blender. Give it a few pulses to blend the ingredients into mush. Now add the rest of the cream and the rest of the butter (diced up). Whiz it until it is all incorporated. At this point, pour the mush into a serving bowl. Cover the surface with plastic wrap (make sure the plastic is touching the paste). Refrigerate overnight. The butter will solidify and tomorrow for lunch you will have a delicious spread for your bread!

When we make this dish we like to pair it with meats, cheeses, and bread. Very European!

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