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Chicken liver and sage pâté

June 10, 2014

Chicken livers are cheap. Pâté is delicious. And home made pâté is much tastier than anything you can buy in a shop. Whenever I see chicken livers for sale in the supermarket I buy a kilo and make a bulk lot of it. A kilo today cost £2.

When you are buying livers they should be a vibrant, glossy, red. Free of spots or general blemishes.

You start by chopping a large onion and frying it on a low heat with a couple of tablespoons of butter. You’re not trying to brown the onions just soften them, so you’ll need to keep stirring them.

While the onions are cooking you can start chopping up the chicken livers. A whole liver is made of two lobes. Connected by veins and some gristle. As you chop them up into inch size pieces try to remove those veins.

Once the onions are completely translucent add the chopped liver and keep cooking it on a low heat. Liver is very delicate. Overcooking can make it rubbery. You want to keep gently cooking it and breaking it up with a wooden spoon until the liver and onion mixture gets to a point where it is mostly grey but there are still some pinkish parts. Now take off the heat and let it cool.

At this point the pâté is a blank canvas. At a minimum you should add salt and pepper. For this particular batch I chopped up some fresh sage and fried it in yet more butter until it was just crispy and added that. As well as a splash of sweet vermouth.

Now you have to turn it into a paste. You can use a potato masher, a food processor, or even pass it through a sieve depending on how fine you want the pâté to be.

Pâté oxidises (goes brown) and dries out very quickly. So to store it you can spoon the mix into a bowl, level off the top, and pour over some melted butter. This seals it and it can be kept refrigerated for a couple of weeks.

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