Christmas in my mum’s house means tubs of chicken liver pate. We all love it and my brother will easily scoff a whole bowl full when he comes in pissed. My mum actually had to start hiding some so that he didn’t eat every last scrap in such drunken stupors.
This year Christmas is at mine and I couldn’t let the troops down could I? I don’t have my mum’s recipe, which seems a bit long winded and involves bacon and double cooking, so I adapted this Angela Griffin recipe.
400g chicken livers, washed, trimmed and chopped
250g salted butter
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
1tbsp whiskey, as I didn’t have brandy
1tsp mustard powder
You may note that I have used less liver and more butter. This is purely because the livers are sold in 400g packs and the butter in 250g packs. I also didn’t bother with the decorative bay leaves and cranberries.
Right, so take more or less half of the butter and melt it in a frying pan, over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry very gently. Just soften the onion, don’t colour it. Then add the garlic and the livers and cook them through. I gather that a lot of restaurants have been serving pink livers and making customers ill! Remember people, the livers may look like something that should be served rare, but they still come from a chicken and so need cooking through. There, that little speech will please my mother! She has been banging on about rare chicken livers for months, full of fear that I’m going to give both Gav and I a serious case of Salmonella.
Anyway, once the livers are done, add the whiskey and the mustard powder. Season with pepper; no need for salt as there is enough in the butter. Then throw the livers etc into a food processor and add half of the remaining butter (about 60g). Blend until smooth. Once done, pack the pate into tubs/bowls/ramekins or whatever else you are serving it in. Take the remaining bit of butter (about 60g), melt it and skim off the froth. Pour this on top of the pate to form a protective layer.
Keep in the fridge and hide from drunken brothers! I’ve made 5 ramekins of pate which will see us up to Christmas Day and through the magical day itself, but no further than that. Due to the stupidly high butter content the pate is incredibly moreish and great on hot toast (even at breakfast).
It’s a really easy recipe and good way to use livers. Considering how much pate is to buy in the shops, it’s economical too. Chicken livers have become ‘trendier’ over the years, but thankfully they are still cheap in the supermarket. A quid will get you about 400g of them from Sainsbury’s, no doubt they are cheaper at the market.
Next time I’ll play with the flavouring. Maybe some mushrooms, maybe some Stilton….? What do you think? Any ideas?