Chicken Liver Pate and The Big O

Chicken liver pate is rich in taste and nutrients. Photo: Eddie Jim

Chicken liver pate is rich in taste and nutrients. Photo: Eddie Jim

Ovulation, that is. Not the other big O that was at the forefront of my mind in my twenties. Nuh uh, sister. I’m 36 now, and my DH and I have been actively TTC a little one for the past 2 years. For those of you new to the fertility lingo, that translates to my Dear Husband and I have been Trying To Conceive for a while now. (After about 20 months, I did get pregnant but suffered an early miscarriage, but I’ll save that devastating event in my life for another post.) Anyway, TTC is a roller coaster ride for sure with the dips coinciding with getting your period. Right now, however, I’m mid-cycle which means I’m riding the high of my fertile period, during which I am in generally good spirits, feeling more attractive than usual, and overall more productive…hence, writing my first blog post!

So, yesterday, I finally made some chicken liver pate from the livers I’ve been saving up from the organic whole chicken we get every week and a half or so. You know, they come in that goodie packet tucked in the chicken, along with the heart and gizzards. I’m not a huge fan of offal, but chicken liver pate really is more like an indulgent, unctuous treat to slather on some rustic, crusty bread. I’ve even turned my shower boy onto it. After all, it is chicken livers lovingly browned in butter with garlic, shallot, and thyme , set ablaze with brandy, and then blended into a rich and smooth mousse with more butter and some heavy cream. Nutritionally, I clearly remember that liver was almost always listed as a good food source of any important nutrient in my nutritional biochemistry text. Intuitively, it is a blood builder because it is rich in iron, and that is what my acupuncturist is pushing for to improve my husband’s sperm right now. It’s also a good way to use every part of the animal, which I think is an honorable approach to cooking and being omnivorous.

Ingredients: 0.5 lb organic chicken liver, butter, shallot, garlic, thyme, brandy, heavy cream, S&P

Here is how I make my chicken liver pate: I trim off the sinewy bits from the chicken livers (about 0.5 lb) and cut them into pieces so they’re all about the same size. Pat dry. Heat up a cast iron skillet on med-high heat. Melt a generous tablespoon or two of butter. Brown the liver on one side, and sprinkle salt before turning over to brown the other side. Add about 1/4 c of finely chopped shallot or onion to the pan along with a couple of chopped garlic cloves as well. Strip off the leaves of a couple sprigs of thyme. Turn off the gas stove just to be safe, and pour in a couple glugs of brandy (1/4 c or so). Deglaze all the brown bits and reduce for a couple of minutes. The livers should be cooked until just slightly pink inside. Scrape everything into a blender or food processor, and pulse to chop. Add about half a stick of butter’s worth in cubes. Blend some more until combined and then whiz in 1/4 c heavy cream. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Put this smooth mixture into a small soufflé dish or terrine and chill in the fridge until set. You can push the mixture through a fine sieve to make sure it’s super smooth, but I’m too lazy for that. You can also pour a few tablespoons of clarified butter on top for it to keep until the seal is broken, but I usually dig into it the next day anyway, so I skip that step, too.

Serve on toast with a few cornichons and proceed to putting your bun in the oven.

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