… so the pâté doesn’t look like dog’s breakfast
Recently, Jeanne (Cook Sister!) mentioned the thrill of finding chicken livers at her local grocery store so she could make her easy chicken liver and cognac paté. (I must say that I’m still reeling that chicken livers are not normally available to the area of London, England where Jeanne lives!)
Happily, chicken livers are usually readily available to us. We don’t often have chicken livers but today, we slogged through the snow to get some so we could have Chicken Livers Maryland tonight. I adore Chicken Livers Maryland!! But more about that later…
Because all this talk about chicken livers and chicken liver pâté reminded me that I STILL haven’t posted about the wonderful chicken liver pâté with green peppercorns that T made for Christmas. It is traditional for us to make some for ourselves to serve before Christmas dinner and some to give to friends. It’s not hard to do (heh… it’s very easy for me; T makes it; the only thing I do is go down to the basement to get some fresh bay leaves to use as garnish…).
But really, as I was saying, it isn’t difficult. And it’s fabulous. We pretty much follow the recipe in The Silver Palate Cookbook (click on image for larger view and more photos) and just cover it with a beef consomme gelatine so that it looks pretty. The gelatine also adds a lovely freshness.
Oh yes, and one of the things we discovered is that if cognac isn’t available (ie: somebody finished the bottle and forgot to buy some more…), any liquor that has seen some oak aging will do. This year, T used rye whisky instead of cognac. Other years, he has used bourbon.
And we served the pate with a choice of Melba toast, water crackers, crusty French-style and Molasses Fennel Rye bread. It’s particularly good with the molasses fennel rye….
gelatine topping for pâté
- 1 can (10 oz/284 ml) beef consommé, undiluted
- ½ Tbsp unflavoured gelatine powder (half a package of Knox)
- red peppercorns, fresh bay leaves for garnish
- For dissolving the gelatine, follow the directions on the gelatine box.
- Before pouring jelly mixture over pate, carefully put the bowl of mixed gelatine into a bowl of ice water (N.B. The ice water should stay well away from the jelly mixture) and gently stir to drop the temperature to below room temperature. Pour the jelly mixture over the pate and carefully drop a fresh bay leaf or sprig of fresh thyme and a few dry red peppercorns on top of the jelly. Refrigerate to set.