Monday, April 7, 2014
Chicken liver pate
In my quest to do more "head-to-tail" eating, here is my first offal recipe. This was my first time not only making, but also eating chicken liver pate. I first tried chicken livers fried up with onions a couple years ago and, well, I was not a fan. So, I was a bit apprehensive to make pate. I recently tried liver dumpling soup (made with beef liver) and liked it - so I was feeling a bit brave. I know people tend to think that liver is unhealthy, but that isn't the case as long as you are eating livers from healthy, pastured, and properly raised animals. Since we have started buying meat in bulk from local farmers, we have been trying to create ways to try and hopefully enjoy these parts that many people often don't request from the butcher (or may even throw away). These livers came from Green Heron Growers.
So what was the verdict? I thought the pate was good. It wasn't too strong of a flavor and the texture was really nice spread on the baguette. We served our pate with some dill pickles and capers as well as some lingonberry jam. I took turns topping my pate with a few capers or a smear of lingonberries (you could use cranberry or currant jam/jelly) and found that they both provided a nice flavor balance to the pate. It also paired nicely with some of our crabapple mostarda. I'm feeling more confident now to try more offal recipes in the future!
Chicken liver pate
1 lb. organic, pastured chicken livers, trimmed
1 to 1-1/2 cups milk
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2-1/2 teaspoons white wine or champagne vinegar
1/3 cup extra dry vermouth
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Place the chicken livers in a shallow bowl and cover with the milk. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour. Then drain through a fine-mesh strainer and gently rinse in cold water.
In a skillet, heat two tablespoons of butter over medium heat and add the shallots, garlic, and livers along with the thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the shallots are softened and the livers are cooked through. Then add the vinegar and vermouth to deglaze the pan. Stir well and continue to cook until the liquid is almost all absorbed.
Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. When cooled, pour everything into the food processor. Add the nutmeg and remaining 3 tablespoons of butter cut into cubes. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Adjust seasoning as needed.
Transfer to a serving bowl or ramekin and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cold.
Serve with toasted baguette, crackers, vegetables, capers, jam, etc.
What was I cooking one year ago?: Mongolian beef and vegetable stir-fry
Two years ago?: maple-pecan scones
Three?: chipotle-maple glazed pork with with roasted squash and kale
4?: chocolate peanut butter tart