Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chicken Liver Pate

While searching the internet several weeks ago for tips on how to make raw butter, I came across a blog that actually ended up giving me a recipe for chicken liver pate. Since my cookbible (Nourishing Traditions) advocates for eating organ meats, I figured what the hell, lets try it out.

I have never--as far as I know--eaten liver before. Maybe mom and dad can correct me on this. I have no idea if I like it, but I do know it seems to have a bad reputation (you know those 1950's TV shows where kids always say "oh no, not liver and lima beans again..."). Yet, pate sells for $15 an itsy bitsy piece at the grocery store and French people seem to like it. Oh, and my mom does too. It can't be that bad.

The recipe calls for 1/2 lb of butter, an onion and 3 strips of bacon. This is sounding better already. I saute the diced onion in a stick of butter (a little less than 1/4 pound) then add the chicken livers (2 lbs) and 3 strips of bacon (we got this salt-rubbed and smoked from a local farm). Sauteed all this until the livers turned opaque and then let it go a bit longer to reduce the liquid. The recipe called for white wine optional, which is what you're supposed to reduce, but we didn't have any. So we stared at the whole thing sizzling for about 5-8 minutes, wondering, what does 'opaque' mean? And does butter reduce? Huh. Well that looks good.

Took the pan off the heat to let it cool. Again, more long til it's cool? Does this mean cold or just not hot? We sit on the couch and wait 7 minutes. Went back to check and it was less hot than before. That works. We put the contents of the pan into our blender with another stick of butter and blend the whole thing til it was a more or less smooth consistency. Then spatula'd the whole thing into a Pyrex glass container, melted more butter and poured it over the top (to keep it from discoloring or growing a 'skin'--so says the recipe) and put it in the fridge.

The recipe recommended eating it spread on toast for breakfast. So we did. We bought a fresh baguette from the market around the corner and spread pate on it. And now I know without question that I prefer jam on my toast for breakfast. The first go at having pate for breakfast was not that enjoyable for me, so I tried it again the next day for lunch as a pate sandwich with tomatoes (and a bit of salt). That was much better. We still have ridiculous amounts of pate left, so I imagine I will try it many other ways as well. If anyone likes and wants pate, let me know. I will like pate, I will like pate (I am repeating this mantra until my taste buds get a hint). It may just take a little while.

1 comment:

Wildcat said...

I needed to weigh in on this one. Both mom and dad (me) are great lovers of pate - both refined and the more coursely-ground rustic styles. It's always our appetizer of choice in a French restaurant, or perhaps the better part of a light lunch. We got to try some of Bri's creation the other night and were very impressed - great flavor and really creamy texture. But, I'm totally with her on the breakfast thing - they're just to savory for first thing in the morning. We sampled hers with the very traditional accompaniments of Dijon mustard and cornichons (tiny French pickles). Tres bien!