Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Party Pâté

I don't know about you, but I grew up eating liver and onions quite frequently (and being force fed cod liver oil - NOT in pill form). I guess having your copper and iron content so far off the charts that you bled pennies was all the rage in nutrition way back when. Whatever. I survived. And never ate liver again...Until I learned that one didn't have to only eat beef liver and that it could be blended with copious amounts of butter and spread on toast. (Probably the opposite of healthy.) Ever been to Marlow & Sons for the mound of deliciousness that they serve? Get thee to the restaurant stat! Or make it yourself. I never knew it was so easy. Simmer, puree, season, serve. That's it. But you can't be squeamish about the natural state of the chicken liver. You will have to handle it for a hot second in it's raw state. But then you'll appreciate the deliciousness that you create that much more! I made a batch for Christmas Eve dinner but was just thinking that it would be the perfect app paired with some bubbly for a New Year's Eve party. How can it already be New Year's Eve? (Almost New Year's Eve???) I'm still writing 2010 on my checks! (The 12 times a year that I write one!) OK I'm breaking into the Champagne a few days early...

Chicken Liver Pâté
Adapted from Jacques Pépin via Food & Wine

1 pound chicken livers, well-trimmed
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt
1 cup water
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon Cognac or Scotch whiskey
Freshly ground pepper
Toasted baguette slices, for serving

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the chicken livers, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the livers are barely pink inside, about 10 minutes.

2. Discard the bay leaf. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the livers, onion and garlic to a food processor. Process until coarsely pureed. With the machine on, add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, until incorporated. Add the Cognac, season with salt and pepper and process until completely smooth. Scrape the pâté into 2 or 3 large ramekins. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pâté and refrigerate until firm. Serve chilled and sprinkle with sea salt, if desired.

Make Ahead: The pâté can be covered with a thin layer of melted butter, then wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months.

1 comment:

WendyB said...

I want some of this right now...