Thursday, September 29, 2011

Taking a Break: Chicken Liver Pate

It seems like I woke up this morning and the month of September was over. Where did the month go? It went from hot and sunny to gray and cool and I'm already thinking ahead to the holidays.

I wasn't planning on taking the month off, but it looks like I did. Where have I been? Primarily applying to medical school, but I've also had some good times that I want to share with you all. A good friend finished her doctorate, another had a baby. One moved to England, another to South Africa. I romped through Balboa Park as a pre-South Africa celebration and had a fantastic meal at Ad Hoc with my bestie.

My return's going to be a slow one, mixed with guest posts from some of my favorite food bloggers. However, I'm going to kick things off with a dish that means so many things. Oddly enough, it's a childhood favorite... how many kids can say that they love chopped liver? It's rustic, yet elegant. Simple, yet delicious. Great for a party or a quiet midday snack.

I first made this recipe for Christmas dinner with my in-laws. It was a smash hit and absolutely wonderful, but it also made a huge batch. For this particular post, I halved the recipe and substituted shallots for the onion and guanciale for the bacon. Many thanks to Bon Appetit's Andrew Knowlton and Mama Knowlton for a fabulous recipe!

I'll leave you with this delicious pâté, but I'll be back soon with guest posts and some personal recaps of great eating. Until then, I'm getting back to applications... I can't be an "aspiring medical student" forever. Gotta make this shit happen.

Chicken Liver Pâté
Slightly adapted from The BA Foodist and Mama Foodist


  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, divided

  • 2 slices guanciale, chopped

  • 3/4 cup chopped shallot

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 6 ounces chicken livers, trimmed

  • 1/2 apple, peeled and cut into small cubes

  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram

  • 1 hard-boiled egg, peeled and quartered

  • 1 tablespoon dry Sherry (can substitute bourbon or Cognac)

  • 3/4 teaspoons salt

  • Fresh parsley sprig

  • Procedure

  • Melt half of the butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add guanciale and sauté until translucent, then add onion and sauté until pale golden. Add garlic and continue to cook for about 1 minute. Add chicken livers, apple, and marjoram; sauté until livers are no longer pink inside and apple is soft. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

    Transfer warm liver mixture to food processor. Add hard-boiled egg, Sherry, and salt; puree until almost smooth. Transfer mixture to a sieve set over large bowl (I used a mesh strainer with medium mesh). Using a sturdy rubber spatula, press mixture through sieve into bowl. Mix in remaining butter. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper. Transfer to small serving bowl. Cover and chill thoroughly.

    Garnish pâté with parsley and serve with toasted bread and/or crackers.

    This is one of those dishes that become better with time, so if you have it, make the pâté a day ahead.

  • 7 bites:

    Kim said...

    September absolutely flew by!  I went out the other day and saw orange leaves!  It's fall already!

    Ali said...

    I remember pate was my brother's favorite snack during our early childhood. Love this post really brought back some memories. Nice blog.

    Jay said...

    love your space...very interesting posts..
    Am your happy follower now..:)
    do stop by mine sometime..
    Tasty Appetite

    Jay said...

    wow...sounds absolutely delicious..:)
    Tasty Appetite

    thecilantropist said...

    Loved this pate, soooo happy you brought it to the roundtable to share!  And although September flew by, it sounds like it was a fun-filled and happy month for you - glad I could share some of those moments! :)  

    Sally said...

    There's something about fall that makes me want to eat....chicken livers? I know that's crazy, but really, the cooler weather gives my appetite a tweak in all kinds of directions, pate being one of them, so I may have to go back to making it. I learned a recipe from an Italian chef with lots of brandy, butter and secret ingredient: anchovies! Seriously. And seriously yum. But I like the sound of this version, and am ready to jump in.

    I will miss reading if you cut back, but I'd much rather catch  up with you later AFTER the apps are in. Do it! :)

    Jenny said...

    Welcome back!  I am really struggling with blogging these days as I feel like it is something I do 'for me' so it is always at the bottom of my list, way after planning my cakes, making the decorations, updating my facebook page, replying to emails and various other duties :(

    7 bites