Chicken Liver Pâté, by sharon

December 23, 2008

Maybe I’m a little late realizing this, but I’ve been had.  The thing is, I love pâté, really and truly.  And, yes, I know that it is little more than chopped liver with some fancy dressing around it (cognac, champagne, whatever) but I’ve never bought liver before much less cooked it and the whole process scares me.

No longer.  I bought a pound of chicken livers on a whim yesterday and looked up a few different recipes.  I figured that the Jewish chopped chicken liver was the way to go.  I, of course, didn’t have schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) and I knew that I was unlikely to find a container of it at my local HEB, so I used butter instead.  And even though I can’t really taste it for another 12 hours, it seems pretty awesome so far.   The recipe I started with (and deviated from) can be found here:

1 pound chicken livers, rinsed and drained
1 red onion, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/3 cup butter or margarine, or 5 tablespoons schmaltz
3 hard-boiled eggs
1 teaspoon salt
20 grinds of black pepper
generous pinch of nutmeg

Boil eggs.  While they are doing their thing, melt whatever fat you’re using in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic.  When they begin to wilt, sprinkle them with the salt.  Once they’ve turned translucent, add the chicken livers and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes.  The chicken livers are done once the outsides are brown and the insides are a pinky-brown smooth consistency that separates slightly when they’re touched.  Basically, the inside will look like pâté.  If your onions aren’t brown yet, remove the livers and continue cooking the onions.  When it’s all done, scrape the pan with the butter, onions, and garlic into a food processor (I had to use my blender, it was fine).  Add the livers, your 3 eggs, pepper, and nutmeg.  Blend until smooth.  Adjust taste as necessary, keeping in mind that the flavor will intensify as it chills.

I just threw mine in a tupperware container with some plastic wrap pressed to the surface underneath the lid.  I’m not being fancy about this—it’s not sitting on a table at a party.  This is for me to munch on and feel vaguely fancy with, seeing as I have fancy mustard and cornichons in my fridge.  Anyway, chill at least 12 hours before eating.  Spread on toast points with a side of fruit and cheese, this is one decadent snack!