Quick Chicken Liver Pâté

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Method

A smooth, rich chicken liver pâté is one of the quickest pâtés to make, but tastes even better if you take time to soak the livers in milk for at least an hour beforehand to give them a milder flavour. Other ingredients can be added which will also enhance the pâté. I like to add mushrooms, onions, bacon, or even slightly sweet ingredients like finely chopped parsnips-but they must be softened properly in the pan before adding the livers, which must be cooked only briefly.

A delicate mildness should be one of the characteristics of chicken liver pâté, so garlic should only be added if it has been cooked long and gently beforehand, to remove strength and induce sweetness, either by frying or by boiling the cloves in their skins. Blending the livers after cooking with unsalted butter and/or cream will make the mixture taste even milder. For flavouring, 1–2 tablespoons brandy, sherry or Marsala can be used according to taste.

To serve 4 use 250 g (8 oz) chicken livers, soaked in milk. Serve the pâté with some delicious crusty bread.

  1. A homemade chicken liver pâté is always popular; it is one of the quickest and easiest pâtés to make, and inexpensive too.

  2. Melt 50 g (2 oz) unsalted butter in a pan over a gentle heat, then add 1 teaspoon ground conrinder and 1 finely chopped small onion. Stir until softened, then add the drained and roughly chopped chicken livers and 1–2 tablespoons brandy.

  3. Stir for about 5 minutes until the livers are lightly cooked. Turn the mixture into a food processor and add another 25 g (1 oz) soft unsalted butter and 2 tablespoons double cream. Whizz to a smooth purée. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.

  4. Spoon the chicken liver pâté in to an earthenware dish, about 900 ml ( pints) capacity, or 6 small ramekin dishes and spread level Melt 25-50 g (l-2 oz) clarified butter (right) and pour carefully over the top of the pâté to seal it. Chill the pâté for up to 3 days before serving to give the flavours time to mature.

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