Sunday, December 29, 2013
Last year I made a baked paté. The recipe required chicken livers, bacon, juniper berries and lots of black pepper, all ground up to a manageable but chunky thickness. It was grainy and perfectly, delectably delicious. It also tended to fall apart when sliced and slipped onto a cracker and popped into one's mouth (in between moments of Christmas levity, as one does) and so, as I observed my Less Adventurous At Eating Awkward Food In Public friends struggling during last year's Christmas party, I resolved to try a creamier, spreadable version this year.
I used this recipe (click on this link). I didn't have any shallots or madeira so I substituted a small onion and a large glass of brandy. You will note from the photo at left that large quantities of butter are involved. This is what gives the meat its creaminess, so be forewarned and don't eat the entire bowl in one sitting. Don't eat the entire bowl by YOURSELF, I mean. I use unsalted butter, because I like the taste better. Salted butter tastes overly salty to me.
It's pretty easy to make, so if you're like me: you love it but hate splashing out on the good (and often horribly expensive) stuff, gather together some chicken livers and try this. I will add one caveat before you source your chicken livers: being that the liver is the organ that filters the blood and so is intimately involved in any drug use the body may indulge in, make sure you get livers from birds that haven't been subjected to lots of hormones or antibiotics. Here in BC we're lucky that poultry is always hormone (and often antibiotic) free.
This will ensure the immediate presence of your husband, who will think you are not safe left alone in a kitchen with alcohol and matches, despite your protestations that we'll all have lots of amusing memories to look back on one day. He might make tart remarks to the effect of "burning down the house is HYSTERICAL, I agree" but ignore him.