Recipe – Chicken Liver Pate with Brandy and Orange

Pate. It’s a bit like Marmite, you either love it or hate it. Our house is split down the middle as I love it but Samantha really doesn’t… but that doesn’t stop us having some for Christmas for the rest of the family. This year, I thought I’d have a go at an indulgent homemade pate with brandy and orange. It’s coarse, not fine, which is my personal preference but the flavours and texture are wonderful.

You will need:

  • 3 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 glove of garlic, crushed
  • Fresh thyme, around a tablespoon of leaves only
  • Half teaspoon of mixed spice
  • Fresh nutmeg
  • Ground mace
  • Zest from one orange
  • 400g fresh chicken livers
  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • 100ml double cream
  • 200g unsalted butter

Take three ramekin dishes or one medium sizes Kilner jar and sterilise with boiling water, drying with kitchen towel.

Prep the chicken livers by roughly chopping and ensuring you remove any connective bits or gristle.

In a large frying pan, heat a large glug of olive oil. Gently fry the shallots and thyme until soft. Add the garlic, mixed spice, a little grated nutmeg and orange zest, with a good seasoning of salt and pepper. Fry for another couple of minutes.

Add the chicken livers and fry gently for around 7 minutes, until they are cooked (but not over cooked, check they are still just pink inside). Pour this mixture into a food processor and blend on a medium to high speed until smooth.

In the same pan, pour the brandy to deglaze, heating until simmering. Then add the cream, simmering again for a couple of minutes. Pour this into the food processor and blend again until smooth.

With the food processor still running, add 120g of the butter, which should be cubed for ease of adding. Keep blending until smooth again. Pour the mixture into the ramekins or jar, tapping them on the counter to make the top flat.

Heat the remaining butter in a small pan, adding a small pinch of mace and a little orange zest if you have any left. Once melted, pour this over the pate to seal the top.

Place these carefully in the fridge, you can chill for around three hours before serving or they will keep for a week or so, less once you’ve broken the butter seal.

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