All / Appetizers & Snacks / Techniques

Today’s Special: Chicken Liver Pate

I never liked chicken livers…that is, until shortly after college, when I was a server in a little French bistro. They served a dish of livers and onions that I could never stomach, but I couldn’t get enough of the chicken liver pate.

In the past, chicken liver pate has not been a big seller at the restaurant, but I got some beautiful organic chicken livers from D’Artagnan this week, so I thought we could give it another try. It’s actually very quick and easy to make at home too. Simply soak the livers overnight in water, then rinse them until the water runs clear. This gives them a milder less pungent flavor. Render a little bacon in a saucepan with some shallots. Then add the livers, some fresh herbs, like thyme and sage and cook them until they are medium rare. Flambe with liquor of your choice, brandy, sherry, bourbon, what have you, and cook the alcohol off. Using a food processor, puree the livers, still warm, with a little bit of cold butter until it’s creamy. Season with salt and push through a fine mesh sieve. You can then spoon the smooth liver pate into jars and seal with duck fat, clarified butter, or lard.

We serve the pate with a mix of house made pickles, peppery radishes, whole grain mustard and sea salt accompanied by grilled sourdough toast. I know those of you who simply don’t like liver will never be converted, but heard this evening that one table practically licked the jar clean.

6 thoughts on “Today’s Special: Chicken Liver Pate

  1. I am so inspired to try this. Little concerned about pushing it through a fine mesh sieve though. It’ll actually go? Use the back of a wooden spoon? I’ll report back.

  2. The seal keeps the pate from drying out and oxidizing. We use it because we serve the pate in individual containers. Once chilled, the fat seal solidifies and just pops off like a lid which you can just discard if you prefer.

  3. Anna, if you puree them enough the livers will totally go through. Just the really fibrous bits get left behind. Use a ratio of 10:1 by weight livers to butter. When it’s warm the pate will be pretty runny, but once it’s chilled you will have a smooth, silky, spreadable treat.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s