Chicken Liver Pate

A classic which has come full circle again.  This can be made well ahead of time – it also freezes perfectly.  When I was a student I used to make this by the bucketful to sell from the farm shop freezer.  I used to make it in a new gadget that had just been imported and we had the first five in the country.  Magimix! Ha, that long ago.  Needless to say I bought one of them and it only gave up the ghost when the casing finally cracked a couple of years ago.  Before then we used to make it the pate in a liquidiser which was fine but it was a beast to get all the goo out compared to the wondrous new machine.  Unless you’ve got nothing else to do (!) don’t bother with the Melba Toast that we used to have with it, just a really good granary loaf (gluten free bread for those who need it obviously) toasted in not too thick slices.  Take it out of the fridge at least ten minutes before serving to let the flavour develop before eating.  For a smoother and slightly less intense liver flavour add a couple of tbsp of cream during the processing stage.

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  • 1. Pick over the chicken livers and remove any white sinew or green coloured bits and especially look for a small bile sac. They are not found very often but if you do miss one of these your pate is ruined
  • 2. Chop the onions and garlic and and fry in the olive oil until soft and translucent - add the thyme about halfway through the cooking
  • 3. Remove to a plate and fry the chicken livers on a slightly higher heat for a couple of minutes on both side or until nearly cooked
  • 4. Add the onions and garlic back in to the pan with the brandy and allow to cook for another couple of minutes - the livers should just be faintly pink in the middle but not bloody
  • 5. Put about half the butter in a separate small pan and heat gently until melted. Keep to one side
  • 6. Meanwhile put the livers, onions etc into a food processor with the remaining butter and all the pan juices. Season with plenty of salt and pepper and the nutmeg and pour into one big dish or several small ramekin type dishes
  • 7. Carefully spoon the melted butter on top of the pate - leaving the milky white liquid behind - it is easier if you tilt the pan slightly. Make sure the pate is all covered, you want to seal it completely. Drop a bay leaf onto it before it sets and keep covered in the fridge for up to 10 days while still sealed. Use within three days once it has been started

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About Chef

Ally Bremner

Founder of 'What to Cook' if and sister site 'What to Eat if', Ally Bremner has personal experience of diet limitations, either through her own Coeliac Disease or family members ...