Back in July, 2007, I posted a story called A Chicken’s Liver, about what to do with the liver you find inside your chicken — make a quick one-liver pate. I do that as a matter of course when I have the occasion to use a whole chicken.
And that’s good, but not plenty. Carol recently said, “You know what we haven’t had for a while? Chicken livers.” I listened.
From time to time, I make the traditional Chopped Chicken Liver — liver, onions and hard cooked eggs mixed together — most recently for my Super Bowl XLIII Party. Good, but it lacks finesse; and on that occasion it was overshadowed by my Bacon Explosion, wildly popular at the time.
I went in search of a real chicken liver pate — buttery and boozy and rich — and found the answer on the KQED blog in a recipe by Thy Tran, a food writer I had seen in the Chronicle from time to time.
Here’s what she thinks about a real chicken liver pate:
“For those trying to watch their cholesterol intake, you can stop reading right now. Ditto for the vegetarians and the hard-core dieters. Teetolers might also want to move along.
For those remaining — those of us who still manage to reward ourselves during the dark days of winter — it’s time to whip up some chicken liver paté.
As buttery treats go, liver is dense with protein, vitamins and minerals. A few crackers spread thinly with this paté will make the bitterest salad sweeter. Accompanied with a thinly sliced apple and a glass of wine, it becomes a very adult way to enjoy a movie at home. And little ramekins set out for guests never fails to impress.”
That’s my kind of food treat — I’m not much into sweets — so I set to work.
First, marinate the livers in cognac and thyme to get all flavorful and joyful. OK, it doesn’t look all that good… yet. But chicken livers, cognac and thyme… there’s no bad in there. I did a half recipe, so that’s a half pound chicken livers, an ounce of cognac and one and a half tablespoons fresh thyme.
Now, get a half cup of diced onions and a minced clove of garlic sizzling with loads of butter, 4 tablespoons or so.
Mix in the livers, thyme and booze and cook until the livers are just pink in the center… smells divine.
Let those jewels cool a bit, add another splash of cognac and you’re ready for the food processor.
Now… as Thy Tran says, “Puree the begeezes out of it.”
I’m ready for a taste of the pate, spread on a Ritz cracker — my cracker of choice for this pate.
Actually the new version of The Joy of Cooking has a great chicken liver pate recipe that they call “Mousse” and we make a big batch whenever we kill a bunch of meat chickens. Not as boozy as this recipe, but rich and made a little more complex with the addition of a shredded apple.