I don’t often bother making my own pâté because you can buy really good ones at a reasonable price in the UK though it costs a small fortune in Asia. I decided to make some for a friend who is anaemic, and also some for myself because pâté tastes ever so lovely with crusty bread.
Disclaimer: The Food Standards Agency advises caterers that all liver should be thoroughly cooked to kill any bugs that might just be present.
But the most important thing is, chicken liver is actually good for you. And it is cheap, because it is not at the top of most people’s shopping list – “offals, yukh!”. Boy, what are they missing out! Chicken livers are high in protein, vitamin A, iron and certain B vitamins (especially B12). As my friend has dizziness with his anaemia, the this nutritional profile of chicken livers make pâtés the ideal snack for him.
Brandy & pepper pâté
225g salted butter
400g chicken livers, tendons removed
4 shallots, sliced
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons sugar, dissolved in the brandy
50mls cooking cream
1 tablespoon dried thyme (use fresh if possible)
1 pinch mace (or grated nutmeg)
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cashew nuts and sunflower seeds, toasted
Melt 75g of the butter in a heavy frying pan.
Add the shallots and garlic, and fry until fragrant. Sprinkle in the thyme.
Add the livers and fry until cooked through but still pink and moist on the inside.
Remove from heat and pour everything into a blender. Blend until smooth.
Pour the brandy into the saucepan. Add the sugar. Boil until it is reduced to 2 tablespoons of syrupy liquid. Add 75g of the butter. Pour in the cream. Add the mace or ground nutmeg and peppercorns. Add to the blender and blend briefly, just until the mixtures are mixed together. Pour into a pate bowl and leave to cool.
Toast the nuts. Set aside.
Melt the remaining butter in a clean saucepan. Make sure that it does not burn or go brown. When the pate is set, pour the butter over it. Top with the toasted nuts. Chill and it will be ready to eat when the buttery top layer hardens.