So, odds are if you’re reading this you have at least one holiday party or New Year’s Eve party to go to. If you’re lucky, this means small, intimate dinner parties with family or friends, the kind where everyone brings a dessert or a bottle of something in spite of the host’s protests that there’s already too much food. It’s the end of the year, and we’re all breaking out recipes that we’d never make without the holiday excuse, because they’re fancy or time consuming or expensive to make.
Pâté is neither time-consuming nor expensive, but jaws will drop every single time you tell anyone you made it at home. It can be added unobtrusively to the appetizers present at most parties, or you can keep it to yourself and use it to round out a simple lunch of a cheese plate and salad.
Ingredients (makes about 3 cups, which is more than anyone needs)
about 1 1/4 pounds chicken livers
2 T butter
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup wine or brandy
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 T apricot jam
1/2 t salt
1/4 t white pepper
mustard seeds to taste
Melt butter over medium-high heat.
Mince or press garlic and cook until translucent.
Add the chicken livers. Cook briefly–not more than 2-3 minutes per side.
You still want to see some pink when you chop the livers with your spatula.
Scoop the livers into the bowl of a food processor or blender.
Clean your pan and add the wine or brandy to it.
Bring to a boil and reduce the liquid by about 1/2. It is okay to estimate this.
Add the reduced wine, whipping cream, salt, spices, and jam to the bowl of the food processor.
Puree until smooth and creamy. This takes about 1 minute.
Scoop into ramekins or old mustard jars or whatever dish you plan to serve it out of.
It needs to chill before serving. Once it is cool, pour enough clarified butter to cover the surface over the top and return to the refrigerator. This serves the dual purpose of adding delicious fat and keeping the pâté from drying or discoloring.
Serve with salad, crackers, crudités, fruit, or a cheese plate.
Watch everyone marvel at your culinary genius, even though you and I both know it wasn’t hard at all.