Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Trip down the memory lane: chicken liver pâté

Chicken liver pate / Kanamaksapasteet

Chicken liver featured pretty often in our kitchen when I was younger. One of my aunties worked in a chicken factory (abattoir?), and was able to smuggle us various cheap chicken bits and pieces during the food-poor and rationed last years of the Soviet era. Some of these chicken parts I hated, some I didn't mind, some I rather liked. Chicken necks will remain my pet hate until I die (my mum used them in soups); chicken wings haven't got enough meat on them, however juicy and flavoursome it is; chicken gizzards and chicken liver - in stews and patés, respectively - I find rather good.

Ever since I saw the recipe and pictures for paté ai fetatini over at Delicious Days few months ago, I've been longing to have some home-made chicken liver pâté again. The opportunity came when I spotted some chicken livers at Edinburgh Farmers' Market. I will try paté ai fetatini recipe soon, but first I had to try my Mum's version..

Chicken liver pâté

500 grams chicken liver, cleaned
100 grams butter, at room temperature
1 onion, finely chopped
finely crushed black pepper
2-3 Tbsp brandy or cognac
3-4 Tbsp chicken stock

Melt about 25 grams of butter on a frying pan, add the chopped onion and fry gently for 5-10 minutes, until the onion softens a little.
Add the chopped chicken liver and fry on medium heat, turning regularly, for about 5 minutes, until the liver is cooked & no longer pink inside, but is still on the soft side. Let it cool.
If you have an old-fashioned mincer, then mince the fried livers twice (gives a smoother paté). Alternatively, mince the fried livers and onions in a food processor, add soft butter, seasoning and brandy and process until smooth. If the mixture is too dry, then add a bit of chicken stock.

Keeps for a few days in the fridge, covered. To serve, either spread on toast or form into small balls with a warm teaspoon and roll in grated hard cheese - this is a popular way of serving any liver pâté back home.

Now - next time I must ask for some chicken gizzards then..

PS For a slightly fancier take on the chicken liver pâté you can also check out Becks&Posh's recipe for chicken liver crostini, or pictures of it over at Spittoon Extra.


Antti said...

Have you tried roasted and salted chicken livers on a skewer? A staple in Argentinian churrascarias, and really good, at least in small doses.

Anna said...

Liver paté is one of those things that makes me instahomesick... thanks for sharing this.

Pille said...

Antti - nope, I haven't tried salted & roasted chicken livers, but it surely sounds like something definitely worth trying - thanks for the tip!

Anna - I guess our culinary background is quite similar despite the 80 kilometres and the Iron Curtain;)