In the spirit of "nothing wasted", our family has adopted several fantastic recipes that use 'all parts', save money in the grocery store and still allow us to feel like we are living "la vida dolce" (the sweet life). One of my absolute favorites is Chicken Liver Pâté and the best part about this recipe, aside from its luxurious taste, is knowing where it came from and what it's made of. I'll tell you what it's not made of...ingredients you can't pronounce and preservatives! Can I get a high five? The recipe itself is very simple, easily adapts to what you may have on hand and lends an elegant air to any charcuterie board or tapas (fancy words for finger-to-mouth style dining, and one of our favorites). Plus it's a great way to use more of what we "grow", and waste less.
Chicken Liver Pâté
5/8 C butter
1 onion (or 2 small shallots) finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (or grated through rasp)
250 g. chicken livers
2 TBSP Brandy (optional)
salt & pepper (to taste)
1 TSP thyme (or other herbs of choice)
Melt half the butter in a pan over medium heat, add the onion and sweat for 3-4 minutes before adding the garlic. Continue cooking for 2 minutes before adding the cleaned chicken livers (use kitchen shears to remove any discolored areas or connective tissue & rinse). Adjust heat to med-high and cook, uncovered for approximately 6 minutes or until browned. Remove from heat and season with salt & pepper, thyme, and brandy (if using).
Transfer mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. Cube the remaining butter and add to the mixture, pulsing until smooth and creamy. Press the pâté into a serving dish and cover for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. Serve with your choice of crackers or toast.
Pro-tip: If keeping the pâté for more then 2 days, cover with clarified butter to seal. About 1/8 of an inch layer sealing entire top of pâté will do. I usually divide my pâté between several smaller (portioned) containers and seal all but the one we know we will be eating right away. To make clarified butter, melt your butter over low heat. Do not allow to boil. Skim off the foamy milk solids as they rise to the top. Now, ladle the butterfat layer (which you will use to seal pâté) into a storage container, being extra careful to leave the 'water' in the bottom. This clarified butter is good for several months if refrigerated, and can be used in many surprising ways (I'll be sharing a magical cookie recipe soon- Sea Salt Butterscotch Pretzel Cookies).
Don't be afraid to try new dishes, to use 'all the parts' of your livestock's offerings and to get creative when it comes to feeding your family. If you've tried this dish or have your own recipe you'd like to share, head on over to the forums or groups pages and start a group chat. See you there!