Too many years ago at a summer concert, a friend who was a Cordon Bleu alum pulled out this pate' for us to nibble on as the orchestra warmed up. I remember it as one of those gastronomic awakenings. It wasn't bland, gummy chicken livers pureed into paste. It was a lively, smooth spread marked with the a subtle difference of green pepper corns. I immediately asked for the recipe and it is my one and only chicken liver pate'.
The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree since I first learned to enjoy pate' as my mother prepared it for a New Year's party back in 1968. It was quite different from this but the basic elements where there and I was hooked. When I prepared this version for her she went wild, so it will be part of our Christmas menu. This pate' breaks out of the mold and adds that bit of spice without being overwhelming.
Take note, that water packed green peppercorns are no longer available (as far as I can tell) but the dried version, soaked in water, produce the same effect.
5 tsp water packed or dried green peppercorns soaked in 1/2 cup water for 24 hours, then drain.
6 tbls unsalted butter
1/2 cup minced onion
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp dried thyme
Melt the butter in a skillet and sauté onion, garlic, thyme 2 minutes over medium heat. Turn heat off and set aside.
1/2 cup fresh celery leafs
10 back pepper corns
2 bay leafs
6 cups water
Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 10 minutes
Add 1 lb. chicken livers. Simmer, slightly, 10 minutes and drain. Discard celery leafs, pepper, and bay leafs.
Combine, cooked chicken livers, butter mixture, 4 tsp. of soaked green pepper corns in a food processor with:
2 tbls cognac
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp all spice
1/4 cup heavy cream
Process until smooth, then add 1 tsp remaining soaked green pepper corns.
Pour into a mold and cover with plastic wrap. Chill at least 4 hours and leave out 30 minutes before serving.
- Recipes & Random Thoughts
- I have been cooking my way through life for over 50 years, beginning with mud pies as a child. I've turned a corner now and feel a Renaissance in my life. Recipes and Random Thoughts is my personal spin in a blog about how to prepare good food and how it prepares you for life. I want to share with you, honest to goodness food punctuated with perspective from the special memories and moments that have marked my journey.