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Chicken Liver Pâté with Onion Jam
I know how easy it is to buy pâté these days, but nothing tastes as good as homemade. This recipe can be prepared ahead and will keep for 3 to 4 days in the fridge. I love the contrast between the sweet onion jam and the savoury pâté.
400g (14oz) fresh chicken livers, trimmed
300ml (½ pint) milk
225g (8oz) unsalted butter, 3 shallots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed, ½ tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tbsp port, 1 tbsp Madeira, 4 eggs
1 tbsp cream, toast triangles, to serve
lightly dressed salad leaves, to serve.
25g (1oz) butter
2 red onions, thinly sliced
50g (2oz) light muscovado sugar
75ml (3fl oz) red win
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the pâté:
Soak the chicken livers in a bowl with the milk overnight in the fridge. Thenext day, drain off the milk and rinse the livers under cold running water, then dry thoroughly with kitchen paper. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add 25g (1oz) of the butter. Tip in the shallots, garlic and thyme and cook for a couple of minutes, until softened. Pour over the port and Madeira and cook for another minute to burn off the alcohol. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Melt
75g (3oz) of the butter and set aside to cool a little.
Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F/gas mark 3). Line a 450g (1lb) loaf tin with clingfilm (or you could use a Pyrex dish).
Purée the chicken livers in a food processor for about 3 minutes, until well blended. Add the shallot mixture and blend again for 30 seconds. Add the eggs, cream and melted butter through the feeder tube. Blend again briefly and then season generously.
Pass the chicken liver mixture through a sieve and pour into the lined loaf tin or Pyrex dish.
Cover tightly with tin foil and place in a roasting tin half filled with hot water (otherwise known as a bain marie). Place in the oven for about 1 hour, or until the pâté is set. Leave to cool and then put in the fridge for 1–2 hours to chill down, or overnight is best.
Melt the remaining 100g (4oz) butter in a small pan and then pour it into a jug. Leave to cool a little and settle. Pour a layer over the set chicken liver pâté, leaving behind any milky white sediment. This will preserve the pâté.
To make the onion jam, melt the butter in a heavy-based pan. Add the red onions, sugar, red wine, vinegar and soy sauce. Sauté for 5 minutes over a medium heat, tossing occasionally.
Sprinkle over 1 tablespoon of water, then reduce the temperature and cook gently for 25–30 minutes. The onions should make a soft, sticky, sweet and sour jam. Season to taste and leave to cool. Transfer to a bowl, then cover with clingfilm and chill until needed.
To serve, carefully remove the layer of butter that has preserved the pâté and then scoop out spoonfuls or cut into slices and arrange on plates with the onion jam, toast triangles and salad.