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.
This recipe is from Delia's Happy Christmas. Serves 6
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).
Six ramekins with a base diameter of 5.5cm (or six similar-sized pots).