Duck Liver Pâté with Armagnac
I wish we could buy duck livers all the year round, but thankfully they are at least around at Christmas, and they make a wonderfully smooth, velvety pâté. At other times this recipe works just as well with chicken livers.
|225g duck livers, rinsed and trimmed|
|2 tablespoons Armagnac|
|2 teaspoons mustard powder|
|¼ teaspoon ground mace|
|1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme|
|2 cloves garlic, crushed|
|freshly ground pepper|
|For the garnish|
|6 small sprigs fresh thyme|
|6 juniper berries|
|Need help with conversions?|
Six ramekins with a base diameter of 5.5cm (or six similar-sized pots).
This recipe is taken from Delia's Happy Christmas
To make the pâté, take a medium-sized, heavy-based frying pan, melt about 25g of the butter in it and fry the duck 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 with a draining spoon and transfer them to a blender or food processor.
Now, in the same pan, gently melt 150g of the remaining butter and add this to the blender or food processor. Then pour the Armagnac onto 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, garlic and some seasoning.
Leave to stand for 10 minutes, then blend until you have a smooth, velvety purée.
Next, divide this between the ramekins (or pots) and use some damp kitchen towel to clean the edges. Then melt the remaining 50g of the butter, pour a little over each one to seal, press in a sprig of thyme and a juniper berry, and leave them to get quite cold.
Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge till needed.
Don’t forget to remove from the fridge about an hour before serving as the pâté needs to be eaten at room temperature.
This is good served with Spiced Pickled Prunes in Armagnac (see below) or Marmalade of Apples, Raisin & Shallots (from Delia's Happy Christmas).
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It's great to have a jar of these pickles in the cupboard to serve with cold meats or pates, but I think they also make a wonderful accompaniment to Crisp Roast Duck with Confit of Sour Cherries.
So easy to make, this lovely pate will soon become a firm favourite. The salad is a revelation too!
Just add toast, pickles or chutney for a real taste of France, ideal for those who don't like liver.
This is one of my favourite starters: a terrine of tiny shreds of tender, succulent duck melded together like a pâté, then served with the dazzling depth of colour and sharpness of a confit of cranberries to counteract the richness.
Quite simply the easiest pâté I've ever made. All the ingredients are placed together in the bowl of the processor, then one little whiz and it's made! It also has an utterly sublime flavour – brilliant! Serve with hot toasted wholemeal bread.
You could use frozen kipper fillets for this, but even better would be a proper kipper. By the time you've removed the skin and bones from one medium-sized kipper you should be left with approximately 4 oz (110 g) fish.
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