chicken liver pate with blueberry balsamic jelly
I am absolutely definitely a pate lover from way back. I can eat it on toast for breakfast, in a sandwich for lunch or spread generously on a wafer thin cracker and wash it down with my Friday night super-sized glass of Pinot Noir. This rendition is oh so buttery, smooth and rich, but these sinful qualities are balanced perfectly by the sweet fruity tang of the jelly. Its’ particularly moreish tendencies, along with the persuasive qualities of the wine can in my experience propel it from a tasty pre-dinner treat to an impromptu ‘opps did I eat all of that already’ meal.
500g fresh organic chicken livers
2-3 french shallots, finely chopped
4 tbsp brandy
200g butter, cut into cubes, plus a little for cooking
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 large garlic clove, crushed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
250g fresh or frozen blueberries
2 sheets of leaf gelatine (titanium strength)
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1. Wash the livers and remove any membrane or green-tinged bits.
2. Melt a little butter in a frying pan and gently saute the shallots till soft.
3. Add the livers and cook over a low heat. All trace of pink should be gone, but be careful not to overcook them or the outsides will get crusty.
4. Put the livers into a food processor.
5. Deglaze the pan with brandy and allow it to flame.
6. Add the crushed garlic and thyme leaves, stirring for two minutes then scrape everything into the food processor with the livers.
7.Purée for a few seconds. Allow to cool.
8. Once the pate is cool add the butter pieces and purée again until smooth.
9. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
10. Put into ramekins, smooth the mixture down and pour over a layer of the jelly.
11. Chill in the fridge for at least 1.5 hours.
1. Place the blueberries, sugar and 75ml water in a saucepan.
2. Bring to the boil, and cook for 2-3 minutes antil the berries have released their juice.
3. Strain through a fine sieve to give about 150ml of liquid.
4. Soak the leaf gelatine in cold water for a few minutes to soften.
5. Squeeze out the excess water from the gelatine and add to the hot blueberry mixture along with the balsamic vinegar.
6. Stir to dissolve. Leave to cool slightly before using.