As a lifelong fan of every variety of liver pâté (duck, goose, chicken) I sometimes forget that it polarizes people; in fact I don’t know anyone who thinks it’s just ‘okay’. You’re either a lover or a hater.
Naturally, I fall into the first category although I’m steering clear of Foie Gras these days because I’m not wild about how they produce it. All haters take heart; the recipe I posted last year for a vegetarian wild mushroom and walnut pâté with glazed cranberries will delight you and your fellow haters. I recommend offering both this festive season.
Back to liver; I have a favorite chicken liver pâté recipe that I’ve been using for decades but I haven’t blogged it as it doesn’t fall into my ‘must be drop-dead-easy’ category. And then I came across this recipe which involves less work and which I prefer. My regular volunteer food tester isn’t a liver lover but even they declared it to be absolutely delicious.
You’ll need a dessert wine such as Sauternes, Muscat de Baumes-de-Venise, or even Icewine. The recipe only requires 2 oz (50ml) of wine which means you’ll have lots left over…delicious with your Traditional English Christmas Pudding or whatever dessert you serve.
CHICKEN LIVER MOUSSE PATÉ with CROSTINI
(Makes 16-20 canapés, or serves 4 as an appetizer)
1 oz (25g) of butter
14 oz (400g) of chicken livers, cleaned of white membranes
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 large sprig of fresh rosemary
5 fl oz (142ml) of heavy (double) cream
2 fl oz (50ml) of dessert wine
For the crostini:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 small baguette, thinly sliced diagonally
Heat the butter in a large sauté pan and cook the livers along with the chopped garlic and rosemary sprig stirring occasionally for about 5-8 minutes or until the livers are cooked and just a little pink in the middle. Take off the heat and cool for 10 minutes then discard the rosemary.
In a food processor, blend the livers and garlic and any juices until smooth and while the motor is running, pour in the cream then the wine. Blend thoroughly.
If serving as an appetizer, divide between four small ramekins; otherwise pour into a shallow dish and chill for at least one hour.
If serving in ramekins as an appetizer, gently warm 3 oz (75g) of butter in a small pan until just melted. Gently pour over the pâté leaving the white solids behind. Add a bay leaf, a few peppercorns or a small sprig of rosemary and allow them to set.
For the crostini, brush each slice on both sides with a little olive oil and place under a hot grill turning once until toasted golden – about 1-2 minutes (can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container).
If serving as canapés, spread the pâté onto the crostini and top with a selection of garnishes such as cranberry chutney, flat leaf parsley, baby cornichons (gherkins), sliced black olives or sliced sundried tomatoes.
The pâté can be made up to 2 days ahead – keep it covered and chilled in the fridge.
It probably freezes well but that’s untested as the batch in my freezer has yet to be eaten.