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.
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.
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.
Back to the pâté.
Chicken Liver Pâté
makes 1.5 cups in about 35 minutes
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
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.
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.