Seasonal Flavors: Chicken Liver Paté

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Mention liver in a food conversation, and watch the grimaces of your companions. Few people enjoy liver. You almost never see it on a restaurant menu except in small town diners where the proprietors know their clientele.

There are few foods that I don’t like: cold pasta, cake icing, breakfast cereal, Dr. Pepper. I don’t mind calves liver and onions. I don’t go out of my way for it, and come to think of it, I haven’t made it in years. I liked when my mom made it—because I got more food, given that my siblings didn’t care for it.

My cousin related that her mother, (my mother’s sister), served calf’s liver and onions at least twice a month, saying, “We don’t like this; I don’t like it; you don’t like it; but it’s really good for you, so we’re having it. Just eat it.” We laugh!

Chicken livers are more widely appreciated.  Sautéed in butter, or batter fried—they are more popular than calf’s liver.

But chicken liver paté, aka chopped liver, is palatable to more people. I love it. Chicken liver is loaded with iron, vitamin B12 and vitamin A. But it’s one of those meats that you should definitely procure from a responsible farmer, i.e. one who cares about the chicken feed and pasture management. Luckily, we can buy local: Free Union Grass Farm, Timbercreek, and Polyface. Get your chicken liver from one of those quality farmers.

Liver paté is great on crackers as an appetizer, and wonderful on a bagel with slivered red onion and some arugula. It’s best served chilled. Economical too; chicken livers are inexpensive.

Here’s my favorite recipe. I amalgamated it from experimenting and looking at how others prepare it. It would be a nice little snack on a cracker for your outdoor, distanced Thanksgiving feast. 

Is this recipe low fat? Ummmm. No. 

Chicken Liver Paté

  • 1 lb chicken livers
  • ½ lb button mushrooms
  • 2 T butter for frying
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ‘glug’ of sherry or cognac (turn the bottle on its side and add a ‘glug’)
  • 4 more T cold butter
  • ¼ cup cream
  • ¼ nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp basil
  • ½ tsp oregano

Sauté the livers and mushrooms in the butter, for ten minutes, till the livers are cooked through. Scrape the contents of the frying pan into a mini-food processor. Add the other ingredients and process till smooth and creamy. Refrigerate till cool, and serve.

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