Liver, or any offal, for that matter, is a polarizing food – you either love it or you don’t. You may think of it as a gourmet delicacy or are completely turned off by it. As you can see, I am firmly in the LOVE IT camp. Today’s post is especially for those who are fans of chicken liver. If you’re not, come back in a couple of days and I’ll have an entirely organ-free recipe for you. As fans, you know that chicken liver, when prepared correctly, is quite delicious and tasty. And, although it is high in cholesterol, eaten in moderation it is nutritious as well, containing a lot of vitamins and minerals that are good for our teeth, bones, skin, and hair and nutrients that help support our immune systems. I’m not going to try to convince you to like liver; it isn’t for everyone. But for those of you who do, this is absolutely indulgent, so please try to practice moderation.
The inspiration for this post comes from FrugalFeeding, who blogs about cooking great food on a small budget. Check out this beautifully written blog from the UK for some amazing comfort foods – stews, soups, and other hearty dishes. His photos of food will warm you up, even on those cold, gray days of winter. You will truly be inspired!
This chicken liver pâté is inexpensive and simple to make. Slather it on a cracker or a piece of french bread and enjoy its silky-smooth texture. One caution: it is very rich, due in part, to the butter and cream in the recipe. Additional flavor comes from herbs and aromatics of your choosing. The original recipe called for sage, but sadly, my sage plants have withered away. I substituted lemon thyme and parsley since both are still doing well in my garden.
Chicken Liver Pâté
Yields 4 small individual ramekins
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon lemon thyme leaves
1/2 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
1/2 pound chicken livers, trimmed
2 tablespoons brandy
3 ounces heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground peppercorns
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large frying pan. Sweat the shallots for about a minute and then add the garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and parsley. Add livers and cook on a medium heat until browned all over. The inside should still be pink. Remove the bay leaf and transfer the liver mixture to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it is the consistency of a paste.
Deglaze the pan with the brandy, scraping away all the bits from the bottom and add to the food processor along with 6 tablespoons of butter, processing until smooth. Add the cream and season with salt and pepper, processing once more. Spoon the pâté into small ramekins and place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerate until firm.
Melt the remaining butter, cool slightly and spoon a thin layer over the surface of the set pâté. Garnish each ramekin with sprigs of thyme and parsley leaves, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate to let the butter set. The pâté may be kept refrigerated for up to one week.
Spread chilled pâté on crackers or slices of french bread.
Adapted from a recipe from FrugalFeeding
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I love this kind of pate! I’ve done a similar mousse adding just a touch of caramelized apples to the puree and using armagnac. My latest significant acquisition is a vintage meat grinder (which my mom got for me — she got the blades professionally sharpened before trekking it over the Atlantic). My next Big Project is making my own pate using my own ground meats. Very happy-making post.
Grinding your own meats?! Can’t wait! I’m so glad I am following your blog. Impressive!
I have never made it either, but you have made it seem quite simple. Thank you… both!
Such kind words! I’m so glad you made this – it looks wonderful 😀 I do love it when people do me justice 🙂
I’ve been so inspired by your blog. Everything you cook looks so wonderful! I’m glad you approve.
I shall attempt to continue to do so!
Your photos make liver look appealing. I have never tried liver before, I may have to now… Beautiful photography.
Thanks! I hope you do try liver, especially done this way. For many, the thing that turns them off on liver is the texture. This is so silky smooth and creamy.
I love liver pate but have never made it. This is very inspiring!
I said the same thing to FrugalFeeding. I love pate but never thought to make it. His recipe inspired me. It is so easy and good.
I am in the Love camp too! Great photos.