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Chicken Liver Pate with Cognac, with Sweet-and-Sour Red Onion Salad

This is smooth and velvety and also works well with duck livers, if you can get them. The salad helps to cut through the richness. I like to serve this with toasted multi-grain bread.


This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Three.


To make the pâté, take a medium-sized, heavy-based frying pan, melt about 1 oz (25 g) of the butter in it and fry the chicken livers over a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Keep them on the move, turning them over quite frequently.

Then remove them from the pan using a draining spoon and transfer them to a blender or food processor. Now, in the same pan, gently melt 5 oz (150 g) of the remaining butter and add this to the blender or food processor. Then pour the brandy on to the juices left in the frying pan (to capture all the lovely flavours), and pour that over the livers. Now add the mustard, mace, thyme and garlic, season well with salt and freshly milled black pepper, and blend until you have a smooth, velvety purée.

Next, divide the between the ramekins (or pots). Then melt the remaining 2 oz (50 g) of butter, pour a little over each one to seal, press in a sprig of thyme, and leave them to get quite cold. Cover with clingfilm and leave them in the fridge till needed.

To make the red-onion salad, all you do is heat the oil in a medium-sized saucepan, add the onions, turn the heat down to low and let them cook gently for 5 minutes, stirring now and then. Next, add the sugar and 3 tablespoons water, stir well, then pop a lid on and let it continue cooking gently for another 10 minutes. After that, add the vinegar, mustard and some salt and freshly milled black pepper, and give everything another really good stir.

Then spoon the onions into a serving bowl and cool until needed. Don’t forget to remove the chicken liver pâtés from the fridge about an hour before serving, as both the pâté and the salad need to be served at room temperature.


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