Chicken Liver Paté recipe
I have had a bit of a tardy start to the blog this week due to our weekend away to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I am currently in a bizarre state of jet lag which is making me feel slightly murderous, so apologies in advance if the tone of this post isn’t it’s usual perky perkison style. I am not hugely accustomed to international travel, so am currently feeling slightly queasy, have eyes like a racing dogs balls and am beyond tired. I think the queasy situation was brought on by me being handed a large gin and tonic and a curry at what was effectively four o’ clock in the morning. Delirious ramblings aside, I have been desperate to share this Chicken Liver Paté recipe with you for ages, and now’s the time, with festive entertaining, if not much Christmas spirit, in mind.
Chicken Liver Paté features heavily on our family Christmas menu. I traditionally make a batch on Christmas eve and it gets wheeled out as a nibble, a first course and yet another dish added to the boxing day buffet extravaganza. I have always made up the recipe, based on the one my Mother always used, so I found it quite tricky to actually put pen to paper. Especially with sleep deprivation being a feature, so bear with me if this is a little rambly. I love serving this with some french bread crostini, chutney of some nature and a sprig of fresh herbs or cress. It’s also just perfect slathered on hot toast or buttered fresh bread. Or just from the bowl with a spoon if resistance is low.
I served this particular batch with some Cranberry and Orange Relish, the recipe for which may or may not feature this week, dependent on if I get all the holiday washing done in time to put fingers to keyboard. If not you will just have to wait to next week. This Chicken Liver Paté is truly delicious, rich and spoiley tasting, but incredibly simple to make. It’s a favourite at home at this time of the year, but don’t let this stop you from making it all year round. It’s far too delicious to only be eaten in December.
Simpler than simple ingredients here for this paté. Don’t forget the double cream, however, like I did from this line up. You could use duck livers too, but it’s just perfect with chicken livers, which are super cheap and cheerful and readily available.
Make a start by taking a frying pan and adding 25g butter and a splash of olive oil. Don’t be scared, this recipe does have plenty of butter in it, but it’s Christmas, and the batch does serve quite a few people so fear not.
Heat this until the butter is bubbling then add your chopped shallots or onion with the crushed garlic.
Cook these flavourful items until they are just starting to soften and brown at the edges.
Then tip them into your food processor to be joined later by the chicken livers.
Next, give your chicken livers a rinse in a colander, pick them over and remove any nasty bits, then pat dry with some kitchen paper. All slightly gruesome, but luckily I am not squeamish about this sort of thing as the end result is so incredibly tasty.
Pop these beauties into a hot frying pan with another knob of butter and dash of oil and your chosen fresh herbs.
Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, so they are browning but still pink in the middle. Don’t be afraid of undercooking the livers as the paté will be grainy and dry if you over cook them.
Next, pour yourself a large glass of brandy, drink a big gulp leaving around 100ml to pour into the hot pan.
Let this bubble away and reduce by half for a couple of minutes then tip the whole business into your food processor.
Give this an initial blitz then add the next 100g butter and blitz again.
Check for any salt and pepper seasoning needs then pour in the double cream and give the whole lot a final process until super smooth. An extra mouthful here just to quality control would be perfectly acceptable.
Pour or scrape this tasty paté mixture into a decorative dish and smooth the top.
For the final clarified butter flourish, take your butter then melt it in a jug or small saucepan. Let it settle for a moment so the white solids from the butter sink to the bottom.
Pour the clear melted butter onto the paté, slowly, so you don’t disturb the paté or include any of the white milky bits. Add a sprig of thyme or a few fresh sage leaves then leave to cool before putting in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours.
The thought of eating this whole bowl of paté now is cheering my tired soul. Serve this just how you fancy it. On brioche, toast, bread, crackers with a touch of cranberry relish for that seasonal edge.
My jet lagged self wished it had some Chicken Liver Paté to hand right now. Sadly, this batch didn’t last long and I’ll have to wait another couple of weeks before the festive batch gets made. I may double the recipe this year as I do hate to share it with all the family.
Chicken Liver Paté Recipe
Makes a lovely big dish, to serve at least 6 guests
You will need a food processor
1 onion or 2 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
250g butter 25g for frying onions, 25g for frying chicken livers, 100g for pate, 100g for clarified butter topping
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
400g chicken livers
a good sprig fresh thyme or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, reserve a couple of leaves for decoration
100ml double cream
salt and pepper, to taste
Toast, crostini or crackers and chutney or relish to serve
In a frying pan add 25g butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat over a medium heat until the butter is just bubbling. Add the chopped shallots or onion and crushed garlic and cook until softened and just browning at the edges. Transfer to your food processor.
Rinse your chicken livers and drain in a colander. Pick or cut out any membranes or grotty looking bits. Pat dry with kitchen roll then add them to the frying pan with another 25g butter, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the fresh thyme or sage leaves. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, they should still be pink in the middle. Pour in the brandy and let it bubble and reduce by half. Add the livers to the food processor.
Blend until smooth then add salt and pepper and 100g of soft butter. Blitz again then pour in the double cream, check for any final seasoning needs then give it a last blitz before pouring/scraping into a decorative bowl.
Take a small pan or jug and either microwave the butter or melt on the stove. Once melted leave for a moment to settle then pour onto the top of your bowl of paté, only allowing the clarified part of the butter to form a layer, leave the white sediment in the pan/jug. Add a sprig of fresh thyme or sage then leave to cool before refrigerating for a couple of hours to set in the fridge.
This will keep with the clarified butter layer intact for up to a week or 2 to 3 days once you’ve made a start on it. Serve with toast, on crostini, cracker, celery, garnished with chutney, fresh herbs or cress.