I’m not a lover of liver (dry retches) and have some very ugly childhood food memories surrounding it You know how the smell of some things brings back strong memories? Well the smell of cooked liver makes me feel ill. While the cooking process of chicken liver pate makes me feel really ill, I love the taste of the pate once it’s all done This recipe is from one of my many sisters’ in law. LaLa, Mister Suziwong’s eldest sister, first made this for us many many years ago when she used to come and stay with us every year when misses 17
20 23 were little. LaLa got her name from miss17 who when a toddler couldn’t say LaLa’s name but could gabble out “LaLa”. LaLa’s recipe is dead easy to make and even easier on the stomach if you don’t mind the smell of cooked liver
First thing’s first! You’ll need a list of stuff:
1kg chicken livers, soaked in salted water for 1 hour
6 bacon rashers, rind trimmed off and chopped
250g mushrooms, chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup cream
3 tbsp brandy
3 tbsp port
1 tbsp dry sherry
salt & pepper
What to do:
Soak those livers in salted water; it looks revolting…no two ways about it!
Heat up a deep fry pan, melt that heart attack in a block…oops i mean butter and add the onion, bacon, bay leaf and thyme. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the chopped livers to the pan and simmer until they are cooked through. Feel free to chunder at any time
Place the mixture into a liquidiser/processor and process until smooth; approximately 2-3 minutes. If the blades of your processor are a little dull it will take longer to get that smooth paste consistency. It’s at this point I start dry retching. The hot steamy liver mix smells horrendous!
Put the cream, salt, pepper, chopped mushrooms, brandy, port and sherry into the fry pan you used for the liver mixture and simmer until the mixture has reduced by half.
I know, I know…you can say it, coz I’m thinking it; it looks like a pile of steaming dog poo!
Pass the mixture through a sieve and then place in pots. Top with a bay leaf and a few juniper berries’ push them into the pate a little bit to help prevent them from floating around when you pour the jelly or butter liquid over it.
The picture above is made with 2kg of livers; so don’t panic that you’re going to be eating pate morning, noon and night for a week!
You’ll need to cover your pate with either jelly or clarified butter/ghee to stop it from discolouring. I prefer a jelly. I use fresh orange juice. I use up to 25o mls of liquid per gelatin sheet to make a jelly that will set. I squeeze the orange juice, strain it and then add 1 tsp of pure icing sugar to the juice. Heat until simmering. Soak the gelatin sheet in cold water until it’s soft. When it’s soft, gently squeeze out the water and put it in a bowl with a spout. Add a small amount of the orange juice to the gelatin and whisk it until the gelatin is dissolved; then add the rest of the orange juice and whisk it through. Gently pour it over each pate filled pot, making sure that all of the pate is covered. You can gently pour the liquid over the back of a spoon to help stop the berries and bay leaves from moving, but I just can’t be shagged. I’d rather pour it in then chase those darn berries around the pot and poke them deeper into the pate.
Slap on a lump of pate onto your favourite bickie and throw that sucker into your mouth…then close your eyes and enjoy the amazing flavours that will be having a party in your mouth.
Make this simple but great tasting pate to have with your favourite tipple when friends come over or serve it as an entree at your next dinner party; whichever way you serve it everyone will be smiling!
You can download the recipe for LaLa’s chicken liver pate here.