Once the lead-in to almost every dinner-party, and a staple of the ‘drinks’ party, Chicken liver pate seems to have fallen from favour somewhat. But it’s still really easy and worthwhile to make at home.
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Chicken livers are a great source of protein, Vitamins A & B group, and minerals including iron, selenium and zinc. That’s not a bad list for a humble pate. And a great reason to make some soon.
I used to make it with lots of butter and cream, but this recipe uses coconut oil instead, to keep it dairy-free. It works well, the only difference is that at room temperature, it will soften quickly. So if you want it to stay out of the fridge for some hours, you’ll need to use butter for a better consistency. Or you can add some gelatine to keep it more stable.
See note at end of recipe.
Recipe: Chicken Liver Pate
400g (1lb) chicken livers
2 medium brown onions, chopped
3 Tablespoons coconut oil
1-2 Tablespoons coconut cream
Pepper and salt, & nutmeg
1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar (or Brandy, Port or Marsala)
Melt 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a pan big enough to hold the livers in one layer. Add the chopped onions, and saute until translucent and just starting to lightly brown. Remove to the food processor, and chop.
Melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in the same pan, add the livers and put over medium heat. As soon as they start to change colour, I like to cut them into smaller pieces with scissors. This allows them to cook more evenly.
Add a good sprinkle of salt, pepper and nutmeg. Turn or toss them a few times until there’s only the slightest pink to be seen inside. But don’t cook them till they’re grey! Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the pan, leaving any juices behind.
Add the livers to the processor with the onions, and, while they whizz, add the Balsamic vinegar to the pan, scrape all the browned bits into the liquid, and put over high heat until it is thick and bubbly.
Scrape this into the processor with 1 tablespoon coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of coconut cream, and whizz some more.
Taste for seasoning, remembering that when cold, it will have less flavour. So have it on the ‘well-flavoured’ side, but be careful not to overdo the nutmeg. It should be soft and smooth, so add more coconut cream if you like.
Line suitablely sized small containers with plastic wrap, and fill the pate into them. Smooth the top, cover with the plastic, and refrigerate for several hours until set. Then eat within a few days or freeze immediately.
And here it is, ready to eat in all its boringness
This pate freezes well, but sometimes needs a little attention when thawed to give it a good texture.Thaw in the plastic wrap in the fridge if possible. Tip into a small bowl, and using a fork, mix well. Quite quickly, it will change from being dry and crumbly to a smooth pate.
Refrigerate again until ready to use.
Note on gelatine. Soak 2 teaspoons of powered gelatine in 30mls (1 oz) cold water. Stand the container in hot water and allow the gelatine to melt completely. When the livers are well blended, pour the liquid into the processor, and make sure it is well incorporated.
Give biscuits the flick
Do something more interesting when you serve your lovely pate. Biscuits are just boring useless carbs, so why not ring in a few tasty changes, and give your gut a treat at the same time:
- eat pate as a small wedge – in your fingers or on a spinach leaf
- fill tiny hollowed tomatoes – drain first
- fill small fresh mushroom caps; cut if necessary
- fill a celery stick that’s then cut slantwise into small pieces (add a sliver of Brie if you’re not dairy-free)
- spread onto Pear slices – soak in water that you’ve added lemon juice or Vit C powder to stop them going brown
- spread onto small rounds of fresh cucumber or zucchini – salt lightly and drain on a clean tea towel
- spread onto small rounds of cold baked sweet potato