Sunday, August 7, 2011

Chicken Liver Pate

So after skipping Charcutepalooza for a few months due to travel commitments, this month we planned on participating. A terrine sounded doable and indeed, I may still try one by deadline day. But today, we opted for pate, indeed, three different chicken liver pates. Because, well, we generally choose multiple options. There were two basic variations: the Chicken Liver Mousse from The Balthazar Cookbook and the Chicken Liver Parfait from Michelle Bernstein's Cuisine A Latina, involved combining ingredients while raw and then baking in the oven in a hot water bath and before chilling. The second technique involved sauteing the chicken livers and additional ingredients before combining and then chilling, used in the  Bourbon Chicken Liver Pate from Epicurious. The Epicurious recipe also used butter as a binder, whereas the other two used egg, in the case of the Bernstein recipe, 12 yolks and half and half, making almost a chicken liver custard. The Balthazar version was a hybrid, using one egg and butter, although we substituted duck fat for part of the butter. We also used Charcutepalooza bacon for the Bernstein recipe. 

My favorite, happily, turned out to be the simplest of the bunch, the Epicurious recipe. 

Bourbon Chicken Liver Pâté
Gourmet  | November 2003 

Unlike usual, we made the recipe as described, though we did eliminate the clarified butter covering. 
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 pound chicken livers, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
Melt 1 stick butter in a large nonstick skillet over moderately low heat, then cook onion and garlic, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add herbs, salt, pepper, allspice, and livers and cook, stirring, until livers are cooked outside but still pink when cut open, about 8 minutes. Stir in bourbon and remove from heat. Purée mixture in a food processor until smooth, then transfer pâté to crock and smooth top.

Chill pâté until firm, about 30 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours more. 

I simply could not take a pretty picture of our pate. Alas.

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