Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Chicken Liver Pate

I received my thirteen chickens back from Sid yesterday,


and I was amazed to find that I have no less than 75 lbs of beautiful free range chicken, ready to go in the freezer. The birds ranged in size from seven and a half pounds down to four and a half, with most being at the top end of that range. They look plump and delicious and I can't wait to try one. But in the meantime there's this big tray of giblets to deal with. (I made the photo small in case you're reading this over breakfast, how considerate am I?)



The necks, hearts and gizzards all go into a big saucepan, and simmer in water in the aga for a few hours, and will provide me with a good supply of stock, but the livers are reserved for a special treat.



Chicken Liver Pate.

This recipe is based on the one in Elizabeth David's Summer Cooking from about 1970, although I've altered  it quite a lot over the years. You'll notice it's not for slimmers,  my husband always maintains that artichokes are just an excuse to eat loads of butter, and I'm afraid this pate is a similar case, but you can always justify it with the thought of all that healthy liver you're having with it. Do try, by the way, to get some livers from decent free range birds, as most supermarket ones are from battery birds  - Waitrose do some good ones.

8 oz chicken livers, cleaned, trimmed, and cut in half
8 oz butter
1 onion
1-2 fat cloves garlic
2 tablespoons brandy
2 tablespoons medium sherry (the kind you keep for making trifles or for when Aunt Mildred comes)
salt pepper nutmeg

Whizz the onion and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped, and then saute them in 6oz of the butter until soft.


Should take about 10 minutes, watch it doesn't brown, the butter will easily overheat and burn. Tip into the food processor, retaining some butter to cook the livers.
Add the chicken livers, and cook for a few minutes until browned on the outside, but still pink in the middle. Add generous amounts of salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Tip into the food processor.
Add the brandy and sherry(or port) and scrape up any sediment and allow to bubble for a minute or two until syrupy, then pour into the processor and whizz everything together until smooth.
Turn into a dish and smooth out.
Gently melt the remaining butter and use to cover the pate when it has cooled. 

You should really leave it in the fridge for a day before eating, but I've just had some for supper that I made this afternoon and it was delicious, with hot brown toast and a dollop of chutney. Also makes a luxury starter for a dinner party.

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