Friday, May 8, 2020

Covid Cafe: Freezer Finds, Part 3--A Pound of Chicken Livers Becomes Pate

Mushroom caps starting a sautee in leeks and butter

More freezer finds from H2: Around the holidays I’d purchased from a local grass-fed farm the pound of chicken livers I recently discovered resting happily at the bottom of our freezer. Back in December, I imagined visiting friends and taking along a little pot of pate or hosting at our place and starting the meal with it. Pate is easy and immensely rewarding. 
Jacques Pepin’s recipe is right here. If you double it you’ll be rewarded with enough pate for yourself and for others. It freezes beautifully. And there are only two steps.

Pepin says: This silky-smooth pâté is inexpensive and simple to make. The chicken livers are briefly simmered in water with aromatics before they're blended with butter in a food processor. If you have the opportunity to choose, shop for paler chicken livers; they tend to have a mellower, richer flavor than deep-red ones. 

I'm not sure what color these are, 
but the results are spectacular

Step 1    
In a medium saucepan, combine the chicken livers, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the livers are barely pink inside, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

Step 2    
Discard the bay leaf. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the livers, onion and garlic to a food processor; process until coarsely pureed. With the machine on, add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, until incorporated. Add the Cognac, season with salt and pepper and process until completely smooth. Scrape the pâté into 2 or 3 large ramekins.

Optional (though not at our house) step: Fold in some whipped cream and don't worry about minor lumps.

Refrigerate until firm. Serve chilled. If you're feeling fancy, pour a little clarified butter on top after chilling. Then return to the fridge to set up. It's now ready to freeze or enjoy.

Have you ever tried
to catch a grasshopper?
It is practically impossible
but those who make
a close study of life
believe that under the surface
is a pillar of motionless time

Now is the time
to add a grasshopper
to your viatica

to abandon endless
exposure, and embrace
unnoticed life

Now pounce

Remember, he weighs
less than an ounce

and under him
is a pillar of
motionless time—

 Rubén Blades

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