Chicken Liver Pâté

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So, Bread & Cie has this delicious ficelle bread. It reminds me of eating warm baguettes on the streets Paris. Paris reminds me of eating foie gras every day, because they basically sold it on every corner at the French version of 7-11. Unfortunately, I can’t pick up and go to Paris on a whim. Even more unfortunatelier, foie gras is banned in CA.

Thinking of foie had me craving pâté, so pâté I did make. After much googling, chicken liver pate seemed like a good entry level pâté to make for someone who’s never made pâté before. The ingredients are pretty simple and so is the technique.

Look.

I know it looks like a big brown mess and completely unappetizing during the actual cooking process… and after too. But I promise it’s soooo goooood. It’s not super liver-y, the cognac really does cut through some of that mineral-y flavor and adds a hint of sweetness.

You could spend the extra time and soak the livers in milk for an hour or two first, to help mellow out that liver flavor. Also, you can put the pureed liver mixture through a fine sieve to get a smoother texture.

I skipped both of those steps because I wanted pâté and I wanted it way sooner than those steps would allow. But by all means, do that. I’m sure it’s worth it.

If you know you don’t like liver in general, just skip to the next recipe. You ain’t got time for this.

Ingredients - dried thyme, cognac, salt and pepper, onion, butter, chicken livers, garlic, and rosemary. Ignore that whipped cream. Ion't know how that got in there.

Ingredients – dried thyme, cognac, salt and pepper, onion, butter, chicken livers, garlic, and rosemary. Ignore that whipping cream. Ion’t know how that got in there.

This is the gross part. You have to remove all that little connective tissue in the livers. Not funtimes, but necessary.

This is the gross part. You have to remove all that little connective tissue in the livers. Not funtimes, but necessary.

Chopped garlic and onions.

Chopped garlic and onions.

Garlic and onions sauteed in butter, then livers, rosemary, bay leaves, and dried thyme are added.

Garlic and onions sauteed in butter, then livers, rosemary, bay leaves, and dried thyme are added. (Note: I really should have let the livers brown before adding in the spices but I was all worried about getting pictures right so I didn’t. It was still good, but follow the real directions)

 

Cognac times! I like to take this as an opportunity to also take a few sips. Boozy cooking ftw.

Cognac times! I like to take this as an opportunity to also take a few sips. Boozy cooking ftw.

Add the cognac, set the fire to high and let reduce for a couple of minutes, until the consistency is more like a syrup.

Add the cognac, set the fire to high and let reduce for a couple of minutes, until the consistency is more like a syrup.

Remove the bay leaves and rosemary and let the mixture cool.

Remove the bay leaves and rosemary and let the mixture cool.

Let’s take a second to talk about the importance of good butter.  With recipes where butter is prominent, I like to bust out the good stuff.

Once in a while I like to splurge on some outrageously priced butter at Whole Foods. This shit right here? Find it. Buy it. Eat it skraight out the package with your fingerrrrrs.

Once in a while I like to splurge on some outrageously priced butter at Whole Foods. This shit right here? Find it. Buy it. Eat it skraight out the package with your fingerrrrrs.

I was taken aback when I first opened the packaging and saw this super creamy soft pure white butter. We're so used to the yellow stuff. This looked like straight up LARD. Just pure white and delicious.

I was taken aback when I first opened the packaging and saw this super creamy soft pure white butter. We’re so used to the yellow stuff. This looked like straight up LARD. Just pure white and delicious.

Back to the pâté.

Pulse the cooled mixture a few times. Add in remaining cubed butter and purée.

I know this doesn’t look like anything delicious at all… but keep going. Pulse the cooled mixture a few times. Add in remaining cubed butter and purée.

BAM! Put the pureed mixture into ramekins or a small bowl and let chill.

BAM! Put the pureed mixture into ramekins or a small bowl and let chill.

This is the delicious bread we can blame for me making entirely too much chicken liver pate for one person. Thanks, ficelle from Bread & Cie!

This is the delicious bread we can blame for me making entirely too much chicken liver pate for one person. Thanks, ficelle from Bread & Cie!

Crusty bread and pâté... the things dreams (my dreams, anyway) are made of.

Crusty bread and pâté… the things dreams (my dreams, anyway) are made of.

 

I like to serve my pâté with a little spicy dijon and some cornichon (a.k.a. cute lil' baby pickles).

I like to serve my pâté with a little spicy dijon and some cornichon (a.k.a. cute lil’ baby pickles).

boop! Chicken liver pate, dijon, cornichon and ficelle. Paris craving fulfilled.

boop! Chicken liver pate, dijon, cornichon and ficelle. Paris craving fulfilled.

 

Chicken Liver Pâté

Adapted from a combo of reluctantgourmet and simplyrecipes

makes 1.5 cups in about 35 minutes

Ingredients

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound chicken livers
1 garlic clove, minced
1 onion, diced small
1 fresh rosemary sprig
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup cognac or brandy

Directions

Trim any fat or connective tissue from the livers and discard.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large sauté pan on medium heat and let the butter brown, about 3-5 minutes. Do not let it burn.

Add onions and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add liver to the pan and brown on one side, about 2 minutes. Flip the livers over and add thyme, bay leaves and rosemary sprig. Continue to cook liver until barely pink in the middle.

Take the pan off of the heat and add cognac or brandy. Return the pan and turn heat to high, boiling down the cognac or brandy until it becomes a syrup consistency, about 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the rosemary sprig and bay leaves and let cool.

Put the cooled mixture in a food processor or blender and pulse 5-6 times to combine. Add the remaining 6 tbsp of butter and purée. The mixture will look loose, but will firm up after chilling. Pack into small ramekins or a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before eating.

The pâté will last a week in the fridge.

 

Notes

Many recipes recommend soaking the chicken livers in milk for an hour or two. If liver freaks you out, do this step. It mellows out that livery flavor. I skipped it. Just saying.

Many recipes also call to push the pureed mixture through a fine sieve to get a silky smooth consistency. Also not super important to me. If i was serving at a party, I’d do this step. But it was just FMITK and her lil’ baguette so… yeah. No.

Take the time to get rid of all that funky connective tissue in the livers. Leaving them intact will mess with the texture.

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