If you have read my piece on hospital food, you should be interested in this post. In some of the comments (online and off) about my best efforts at recreating a 1970s recipe for chicken liver paté, there was an implied criticism. “More like a tureen.” or “Are they pieces of livers in there?” or “Have you ever done a smooth one?” left me with the impression that while you all loved my efforts, you might have had a different view if you had to eat the stuff.
So with the feedback taken onboard and the constructive commentary absorbed, I am preparing a simple Chicken Liver Paté with Thyme. Like with so much of the stuff I am doing recently, it comes with a very short ingredients list. Everything, except the butter is in the photograph.
Here’s what you will need;
- 500 grammes of chicken livers
- 150 grammes of butter
- 3 cloves of garlic (i am using one ‘single clove’ bulb instead.
- 2 good-sized shallots
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper
- Half the thyme you have been lovingly growing on the windowsill
- A good glug or two of brandy
Side note on measurement;
You can take one of two approaches to measurement in dishes like this.
Approach 1: Slavishly jot down the wisdom of some person who in turn jotted it down from somebody else and make something pretty much identical to what they did.
Approach 2: Read a few recipes and decide what might suit your palate and that of your friends and family.
You can guess where I am on this.
First thing to do is to cut the extraneous bits off the chicken livers. I will leave that to your imagination in this post. It is the gory bit and I am trying to be a ‘Smooth Operator’ after all. Next, fry them with the bay leaf in a generous slice of butter.
While this is going on, chop the shallots nice and small and take the thyme off its stalks.
Place the livers in a food processor when they are lightly browned on the outside but not cooked completely through. Season them.
Let the livers cool while you fry the onions and garlic until soft, adding the thyme leaves at about half way.
Just before they are done, add that glug or two of brandy to the pan.
Add this to the processor and blend until smooth. Scrape the stuff off the sides of the food processor and blend again. Blend again for good luck. This needs to be smooth. Just like in the world of fashion, achieving smooth takes a lot of hard work. In the case of the Smooth Chicken Liver Paté, the hard work is in forcing it through the sieve.
Spoon it into ramekin dishes. You will note I had enough to do a big and a small. the big is enough to feed a small family for a week. The small is enough to make you embarrassed that you ate it all yourself.
Refrigerate overnight and serve to your more sophisticated acquaintances with the Toast Melba I showed you in the other paté post.
Maybe I am just that bit less sophisticated than the rest of you. I really enjoyed this. It is a top quality paté by any standards. But, I preferred the less refined pate I cooked before. Maybe that says more about me than I say about the paté. Try it. You will enjoy it.