December 29, 2007

Chicken Liver Pâté with a Difference

This is a delicious pâté that was the most popular at Christmas Dinner. I was surprised actually, because it's not what I consider a normal pâté, in that it contains fruit soaked in alcohol. But maybe that was the trick!

The original recipe calls for currants, and you're welcome to try it that way, but I have to say, I used dried sweetened cranberries and it was fantastic. I also used rum and creme de cassis instead of cognac and port, used less butter in the pâté than the recipe called for, and made ghee for the top, which I think has a much nicer flavor than simple clarified butter. The original recipe comes from the 1995 edition of "The Martha Stewart Cookbook" and it's called Chicken Liver Pâté with Currants. This is my version.

1/3 c dried sweetened cranberries
5 T mixture of rum and creme de cassis, or cognac and port, or other sweet and/or fruity alcohols of your choice
4 T butter
1- 1&1/4 lb. chicken livers
1 garlic clove, minced. Use a nice generous one.
sea salt and pepper to taste
a little minced thyme

Soak the cranberries in the alcohol overnight.
Clean and wash the livers. If the livers are very dark and bloody, soaking them in a strong salt water will improve them.
Sauté the livers in the butter until lightly done, meaning the interiors are still pink. Remove the livers from the pan, leaving the pan juices. Drain the alcohol from the cranberries and add to the skillet with the garlic, salt, pepper and thyme. After pan is deglazed, remove from the heat.
Purée the livers as smooth as you like your pâté to be, adding the liquid from the skillet.
Mince the cranberries, and stir them into the pâté. Pack into a crock or terrine or bowl or whatever you want. Seal with the ghee, a depth of about 1/4 " is perfect and let this pâté sit in your refrigerator for 2 days before serving. The flavor really does improve with the sitting.


You know, I was just thinking that pâté is one of those weird things that is usually considered a special occasion, fancy dish, which usually means time consuming and expensive, but it's really quite easy and inexpensive to create. Did chicken livers used to be a more expensive meat? Perhaps because pâté de foie gras is pricey? Did you know that using fancy accents on every French import word is fun?

Sorry about the fuzzy nature of this photo, but it's the only one I took of this pâté for whatever reason.

No comments: