Friday, September 18, 2009

Easiest-ever chicken liver paté

Liver is not something many of us eat on a regular basis, and most of us have some bad memories of being force-fed it as children (I had a particularly fraught relationship with liverwurst). Like it or not, though, liver is hands-down the most nutritious commonly-known food we have here in the U.S., practically dirt-cheap, and, as demonstrated by the sumptuous creaminess of French patés, it is definitely something that can please the gourmet as well as the nutritionista! This recipe is easy to make, requires very few ingredients, and can be enjoyed by you and your little one for a snack any time. When sourcing your livers, keep in mind that the liver stores toxins as well as nutrients, so be sure to get organic! Or buy from your local farmers' market or through another reputable vendor (farmer with pastured chickens). Small-scale local farmers are happy to do custom organ meat orders as well, but they may need to be placed a little in advance. Chicken liver has the flavor most of us are accustomed to, but you can also try other varieties.

You will need:

-1 lb. thawed chicken livers
-1 medium chopped onion
-1/2 cup red cooking wine (or a red wine of your choice)
-several tablespoons butter
-fresh or dry herbs to taste (such as dry mustard, dry dill, rosemary, and thyme)
-unrefined sea salt & black pepper

First, melt a large pat of butter in a hot pan and sauté the chopped onions until glossy (you may use shallots instead, and add chopped garlic if you like). While they are cooking, remove any connective tissue attached to the livers (try to be delicate while separating - liver tears easily). Add the wine and the livers, then simmer til most of the liquid is evaporated. The livers should still be quite pink inside -- the longer they cook the more "liver-y" they taste! If they are cooking too fast don't worry if all the liquid hasn't evaporated, but go ahead and remove from heat (if you're concerned, you can taste the liquid at this point to ensure that the alcohol has boiled away). Add generous dashes of dry mustard, dill, and rosemary, a large pinch of sea salt, and plenty of fresh pepper. Then pour everything into a food processor or blender (if lots of liquid is left, leave most of it out until you are sure about the consistency). Blend until smooth, then add several more tablespoons of butter, blend, and season to taste. The mixture will be fairly liquidy, but it will firm up in the fridge.

Refrigerate in a tightly sealed glass container (such as Pyrex). Paté is still good until it smells off or grows mold -- so about 2 weeks. You can also freeze half for later in a glass dish. Enjoy on toasted whole wheat sourdough, but be sure to butter the bread first. Since we use unsalted butter, my ritual is: toast bread, spread thickly with butter, add a sprinkle of sea salt, and spread thickly with paté, then slice in half. This makes a fabulous lunch with some fresh or fermented veggies and a glass of raw milk kefir. Babies enjoy eating it warm from a spoon. Bon appetit!


  1. I love love your pate and will be making it today for a second time!

  2. This pate is great, baby really loves it. I am not too much into liver and i can eat it too, its very tasty and so easy to make. Thanks a bunch.