Any chicken liver pâté fans out there? No, you say? You sure?
There was a time when I too “feared” liver (and other odds and ends of the animal). I was by no means an adventurous eater growing up, and would have never envisioned eating, much less preparing, liver and the like. But, over time, I’ve become open to trying new things. As I’ve allowed myself to embrace new opportunities, to relish the unknown, my taste buds have followed and changed in the process. Now, I crave new flavors.
Liver is not exactly appealing from a visual standpoint; I’ll give you that (I’ve spared you the before shots.). And, we do eat with our eyes, so I can see your point. However, if you can look beyond it’s rather drab, brown color, liver has a lot going on from a flavor perspective.
This pâté is smooth and creamy, earthy and minerally, though balanced by a hint of sweetness from the fortified wine (used Marsala since that’s what I had on hand, but sherry, port, or Madeira would be fine too) and sauteed shallots.
If you’re on the fence, keep in mind that chicken liver pâté is simple and inexpensive to prepare; chicken liver runs about $3/pound. Just saute the ingredients in a pan and then transfer to a food processor, and process until smooth. Refrigerate for a few hours and serve on some crusty bread.
So simple. And, might I add, delicious. Of course taste is highly subjective, so best to try for yourself.
Offal (i.e., internal organs and entrails) were once eaten out of necessity when food was scarce, but are making a comeback today (at least by an adventurous few).
I’ve previously written about chicken heart with [an Italian] salsa verde, chicken liver pasta, blood sausage and chickpeas, and beef tongue sliders. Even have some pig’s ears in the fridge I’m experimenting with.
Chicken Liver Pâté
5 tablespoons *butter, divided
2 large shallots, diced
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
1 pound chicken livers, cleaned
1/2 cup fortified wine (such as port, dry sherry, dry Marsala)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
coarse sea salt for finishing
grilled or toasted slices of baguette
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme, and cook another minute. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside.
Add another tablespoon of butter to the skillet and add the chicken livers. Cook about 6-7 minutes until the livers are barely pink inside, flipping halfway through. Add the reserved shallot mixture and the fortified wine, and cook another 3-4 minutes until the wine has reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer to the food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and process until a smooth puree. Place in an air-tight glass container and let set in the refrigerator. Optional: melt a little clarified butter and layer over top of the pate before refrigerating.
Serve on top of grilled/toasted baguette
*I’ve seen some recipes that call for chicken fat (schmaltz) or duck fat in lieu of butter.