The combination of port, brandy and thyme gives this rich, smooth pâté bags of flavour - fabulous as a dinner party starter on toast, crusty bread or thin crackers and with a dollop of the sweet apple relish.
- for the pâté:
- 250 g chicken livers
- 110 g butter
- 50 g peeled and finely chopped shallots
- 2 cloves of garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
- 2 tsp chopped thyme leaves
- 75 ml port
- 25 ml brandy
- salt and ground black pepper
- 250 ml sweet apple relish to serve
- for the sweet apple relish (makes 250ml/9fl oz)
- 25 g butter
- 2 eating apples, (peeled, cored and chopped into 5mm (1/4") dice)
- 50 g caster sugar
- 25 ml sherry vinegar
- 75 ml red wine
- pinch of salt
- For the Pâté:
- The combination of port, brandy and thyme gives this rich, smooth pâté bags of flavour - fabulous as a dinner party starter on toast, crusty bread or thin crackers and with a dollop of the sweet apple relish. If you are cooking for larger numbers, this recipe doubles up very easily. It keeps for three days in the fridge.
- Trim off any greenish or white sinewy bits from the livers.
- Melt 15g butter in a large frying pan on a low-medium heat and, when it starts to foam, add the chicken livers. Cook for 2-4 minutes on each side; cooking time will depend on the thickness of the livers, but they should still be slightly pink inside. Remove the livers to the bowl of a food processor and set aside.
- Melt a further 15g butter in the same frying pan over a medium heat, add the shallots and garlic and cook for 6-8 minutes until slightly golden. Tip in the thyme, port and brandy and continue to cook until the liquid has reduced to approximately 2 tablespoons. (Be very careful when adding the alcohol, as it may flame, so stand well back and make sure you pre-measure it - don't hold the bottle of brandy or port directly over the hob.)
- Place the shallot mixture in the food processor with the chicken livers, making sure to scrape the pan to get all the juices in. Whiz everything together for a good few minutes until smooth then allow to cool completely. Cut the remaining butter into cubes and add to the chicken livers, whiz together again and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Spoon into a bowl, smooth the top and store, covered in cling film, in the fridge. Allow to come up to room temperature before serving with the sweet apple relish.
- For the Sweet Apple Relish:
- Melt the butter in a saucepan on a medium heat. When it has melted and begins to foam, add the apples and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the apples turn slightly golden around the edges.
- Add the remaining ingredients, stir thoroughly and cook over a low-medium heat for 5-8 minutes or until reduced and jam-like, the apples cooked through but not mushy.
- Allow to cool before serving, or store in a sterilised jar.
This recipe and many more are available in Rachel's book, 'Rachel Allen: Entertaining at Home', published by Harper Collins.
More by Rachel Allen:
- Fennel, pink grapefruit, feta salad: Rachel Allen
- Fennel, pink grapefruit and feta salad
- Chocolate Pear Tart: Rachel Allen Coastal Cooking