Chicken Liver Pâté: Dip it, spread it – just enjoy it!

Published: August 2, 2013
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The final product should be a creamy smooth paste with green dill and coarsely chopped black peppers. PHOTO: FARAH S KAMAL

We have been eating sautéed, grilled or fried chicken liver with different spices for ages, now it’s time to try it in a different way. Yes the French way, in the form of a creamy, smooth delicately herb flavoured liver pâté.

Chicken liver pâté is a high class spread prepared by combining chicken liver cooked with onions, garlic, butter/olive oil and a range of other flavours, herbs and then finely chopping or pureeing the mixed ingredients. The mixture is then refrigerated so it can develop its full taste in at least two to three days.

It is usually used for appetisers, such as, a spread over crackers or toast and is often considered a high-class spread. The pâté can be kept for several weeks, refrigerated, or for months if covered with a layer of butter and stored in a freezer. It should preferably be stored in ramekins or bowls as per tradition.

Chicken Liver Pâté. Photo: Farah S Kamal

Moreover, there are many versions of the chicken liver pâté around the world. Its taste and ingredients vary with culture, cooking traditions, available ingredients and the target audience. Thus, there are hundreds of different recipes available to create that perfect bowl of chicken liver pâté.

Here is my version using the locally available ingredients in Karachi.

Warning: You might get hooked because it is simply that delicious!

I have been using this spread on crackers, toasts, sandwiches and rusk.  My favourite is to spread it on a whole wheat multigrain toast, throw in a big stack of fresh green salad leaves and garnish it with sundried tomatoes and a few capers.

Magic- I have a mouth watering, gourmet sandwich ready in a jiffy!

Multigrain wholewheat sandwich filled with Chicken Liver Pate, sundried tomatoes and crispy lettuce. Photo: Farah S Kamal

Ingredients:

-1/2 kg chicken liver (preferably light coloured)

– One big onion chopped

– 2 tbsp chopped or minced fresh garlic

– 2 bay leaves (tez patta)

– 3 tbsp olive oil/butter

-250 gms- one packet of low/no fat milk, can use whole milk if not calorie conscious

– 200gms of Danish feta/light cream/cream cheese

-Thyme

– A fresh bunch of dill (soya)

-Fresh coarsely ground black pepper

-Capers (optional)

-Mustard powder

-Salt to taste, omit if using feta

Method:

Step 1: Preparing

– Trim all fats and connective tissues from the chicken liver, remove the heart, and chop liver in two-three pieces each.

– In a steel/plastic bowl soak the liver in the milk for three-four hours.

Step 2: Cooking

– Heat butter/oil in a pan and lightly sauté the garlic and onions.

-Add the chicken and cook for a few minutes, make sure it isn’t too brown or it will make the texture of the pâté coarse and hard instead of smooth and creamy.

– Now add the milk and let it simmer for six-seven minutes.

– Add mustard while it is still simmering.

– Cook until soft and mushy.

– Remove the pan from heat and let it cool for bit and remove bay leaves.

– Now puree this mixture using a hand held electric blender or food processor.

-Add cheese/cream, black pepper, capers, thyme while still blending.

– Now fold in 1/4 cup chopped dill.

– The final product should be a creamy smooth paste with green dill and coarsely chopped black peppers, and bits of other herbs showing.

 Step 3: Storing

– While it is still hot, use a spoon and place it in a small ramekin or a few small bowls and put it in the refrigerator.

– Ideally cover the pâté with a layer of fat/butter; this increases the shelf life and gives it flavour. However, I don’t add butter just to avoid the added fat and it still tastes just as good!

Bon appétit!

This post originally appeared here

Farah S Kamal

Farah S Kamal

An education and development consultant, who is currently leading the iEARN programs in Pakistan. Photography is her hobby and passion and she tweets @fskamal (twitter.com/fskamal)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.