Even though I have never tackled making pâté before, I was possessed of a notion to make liver pâté for Friday night’s Celebration for Christmas with the friends – Framily. Chicken pâté is made with livers of said bird. Best place to get chicken livers is from a local specialty butcher. This time of year the butcher shop is hoppin’. Took a trip there on Tuesday.
“I’d like a half of a pound of chicken livers to make pâté please?” Having called earlier in the day, I was told the chicken livers had come in that day.
People waited, who obviously knew about meat and cuts of meat, ordering and buying meats that I know little or nothing about. It’s holiday time.
My order was handed over in a brown paper bag. I peaked in the bag. The ‘livers’ were in two heavy plastic bags. I paid and went my merry way.
The wind outside was “frightful”. Coming from Canada it whipped around some. My scarf flew around like a flag. I tucked it back into my collar. Winter is here.
Thursday: set all my ingredients up to make chicken liver pate and then brought out the chicken livers. Had a cutting mat set out and dumped them out. Egad! What’s this? There were mostly hearts and kidneys and two pieces of liver. Now that would make a nice meal for a cat, I thought. What to do? What to do?
Called the butcher shop. Explained what I had in front of me and what I had ordered. Reply was, “You should have never gotten that. Come in and will give you chicken livers. No charge.”
“What do I do with what I have?” I asked.
“Keep it. Let me ask if we have chicken livers today.”
In the background, She asks, “Do we have chicken livers today?”
Back to me she says, “We have chicken livers. I wouldn’t want you to come in and we don’t have them. See you in a few minutes.”
Well, I’ll be there soon, I replied, but not in a few minutes.”
When I arrived, the butcher shop was busy as always. I waited to speak to a young guy behind the counter. Told my story. He looked at me and repeated what I said. I said, “Yes I am here for a half pound of chicken livers.”
“Did you talk to K?” He says looking down to where she is standing.
“Yes.” K responds to her name and I call out to her. “I’m the lady who called about the chicken livers.”
With that my order was set in motion on her assurance. Everything solved. While I waited I moved along the cases casually looking at the contents. I stopped in front of a half of pig’s face in profile. It didn’t seem real and quickly my eyes and my body moved away.
The people behind the counter worked orders non-stop. I heard a gentleman’s order for duck pate with an eighty-dollar price tag. Did I hear that right? (Probably)
Here’s the recipe for Chicken Pâté from Monsieur Jacques Pepin
March 2007 Food and Wine Magazine
“This silky-smooth pâté is inexpensive and simple to make. The chicken livers are briefly simmered in water with aromatics before they’re blended with butter in a food processor. If you have the opportunity to choose, shop for paler chicken livers; they tend to have a mellower, richer flavor than deep-red ones” Retrieved 12-20-17
Adapted by me – left out the alcohol, added two tablespoons of apple cider – serve with fig jam.
Takes about 35 minutes to make.
- 1/2 pound chicken livers, well-trimmed
- 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 small garlic clove, smashed and peeled
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves – used fresh
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons Cognac or Scotch whisky – substituted apple cider
- Freshly ground pepper
- Toasted baguette slices, for serving
How to Make It
In a medium saucepan, combine the chicken livers, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Add the water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the livers are barely pink inside, about 3 minutes. (This took longer than three minutes. Another recipe says to quarter the livers as they cook. I did that)
Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
Discard the bay leaf. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the livers, onion and garlic to a food processor; process until coarsely pureed.
With the machine on, add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, until incorporated.
Add the Cognac, season with salt and pepper and process until completely smooth. Scrape the pâté into 2 or 3 large ramekins. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pâté and refrigerate until firm. Serve chilled.
Notes: This Jacques Pepin pâté recipe is simple to make, if all goes well. Midway through the blender broke. (Luckily I have an emersion blender.) Not to be thwarted, moved everything to a bowl and proceeded from there adding in the butter, which made it very creamy. Yum. I’ll be serving this on the baguette slices with a small dollop of fig jam on top of the pâté. (I had this once in a French cafe. It was so very tasty.)
“The pâté can be covered with a thin layer of melted butter, then wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months.”
I am taking this Chicken pâté recipe to Fiesta Friday #203. It’s a good appetizer for any party or dinner.
Thanks for stopping by my kitchen.
Enjoy the holidays!
P.S. Dinner last night was terrific! People enjoyed the pate! Children were hysterical with joy with their toys. The extra livers and heart pieces went to the family with dogs and cats. All is well.