With guests descending on us at weekends and the sheer volume of nourishment that needs to be provided from Friday evening to Sunday lunch, I am always on the look out for a good dinner party ‘cheat’. This recipe for Chicken Liver Pâté fits the bill perfectly and can be trotted out happily for lunch with soup, bread and cheese. It also makes a fabulous starter that can be made the day before and allows you to concentrate on catching up with all the town gossip from London weekenders when they arrive.
Chicken Liver Pâté
Ingredients serves 4 – 6 people
225g chicken livers
a slug of cider apple brandy (equally though port, calvados or ordinary brandy work very well)
a good pinch of mustard powder
a small pinch of mixed spice
a grating of nutmeg (I love the flavour of this in the finished dish)
a sprinkle of garlic flakes
salt and pepper
a couple of sprigs of thyme
How to prepare
Fry the chicken livers in a knob of butter for a few minutes – do keep moving them around the pan as they tend to stick. Cook for no more than 5 minutes. Remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and tip straight into a blender, leaving the juices behind in the pan.
Pour in the cider apple brandy and using a wooden spoon, make sure you extract all the leftover liver residue from the pan into the liquid. Pour this onto the chicken livers.
Melt 150g of butter and tip into the blender. Then add the mustard powder, mixed spice, garlic and grate in the nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper and then whizz the whole lot in the blender until it is smooth.
Spoon into a terrine or into individual dishes. Melt the remaining butter and pour over the top of the pate. Place a sprig of thyme onto the butter and press down very lightly. This is purely decorative but makes the dish look like you have spent hours on it! Cover with terrine lid or if using individual pots, then cover with foil or cling film. Leave in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours – this could even be made 2 days before and left as the butter acts a seal.
I like to serve the pâté with large toasted croutons of French bread, a dollop of chutney and some cornichons or chopped gherkins.