I make this with deliciously gingery and pungent long pepper but you could use black pepper instead. Whatever your choice, pepper’s piquant bite works wonders at cutting the richness.
Wash the livers and cut out any tubes or discoloured bits. Chop them into even-sized chunks.
Melt one-third of the butter in a frying pan and fry the onion over a medium heat until soft but not starting to brown. Stir in the garlic and gently fry for another 3 minutes.
Add the chopped chicken livers and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the bay leaf, thyme and oregano. Season with sea salt flakes and the ground long pepper. Once the livers are cooked through, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Purée the liver mixture in a food processor with the remaining butter and the brandy, if you are using it.
Spoon the mixture into ramekins, or one larger bowl, pressing down well and smoothing the surface. Cover with a layer of melted butter, then chill or freeze.
© 2008 Christine McFadden. All rights reserved.