Friday, October 08, 2010

Cooking marathon continues

Thought I was done yesterday, but realized I needed to deal with the leftover chicken livers (I only used a couple in the Bolognese sauce yesterday). So this morning I made this batch of pate. This recipe from an old Michael Fields cook book, using chicken livers, is the closest you can get to the taste and texture of a traditional pate de foie gras. It's a bit of work; but fortunately it makes enough to put one in the freezer and another to eat right away. I just had to clarify some butter to top it off to keep it from darkening. It's one of Jim's favorite things in the whole world but I restrain myself from making it too often because the recipe calls for a half a pound of butter - not exactly a heart healthy recipe!

I spent all day cooking yesterday and still didn't get to make the pesto so after a bit of a break I'll get that made before lunch and be in the studio after lunch. The cooking marathon is now over and there are enough frozen entrees in the freezer for at least ten dinners.


  1. Is this his recipe with the apple and Calvados, June?

  2. Yes, that's the one. I couldn't get Calvados locally, but I used Applejack which is also an apple brandy.

  3. June, would you share the recipe with the rest of us? I don't have the Michael Fields cookbook. Thanks.

  4. Here's the recipe:

    1 lb of chicken livers halved, fat removed, washed and trimmed of any green or brown spots.
    1/2 lb butter at room temperature
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
    1 small tart apple, peeled, cored & roughly shopped
    2T finely chopped shallots
    1/2 C finely chopped onion
    1/4 cup Calvados or Applejack
    2-4 T heavy cream
    1 tsp lemon juice
    OPTIONAL: 1-2 T fine chopped truffles
    1/4 lb butter clarified

    Melt 3 T of the butter in a large, heavy frying pan. Add the chopped onion and shallots and fry over moderate heat, for 5-7 minutes, till soft and lightly colored (stir occasionally). Then add the chopped apple and cook another 3-4 minute. When apples are soft enough to mash with the back of a spoon, put the mixture in a blender and puree. Then,in the same frying pan, melt another 3T of butter over brisk med high to high heat. When the foam is subsiding, add the chicken livers (Make sure you patted them dry with hand towel paper so they'll brown well). Add the liver and cook till well brown both sides but still pink in the center. Meantime heat the Calvados or Applejack. When livers are done, removed pan from the heat and add thewarmed Calvados or Applejack and ignite and shake till flame goes out.Now add the livers and whatever sauce is in the pan, to the blender along with the apple onion mixture and add 2 T of the cream and blend, scraping the sides often. Add another T or so of cream if needed to get a very creamy mix. Once mixed, remove and strain it through very fine sieve (I use a wooden spoon for this. It takes a while to do this but this is what gives you a very fine pate). Let this cool completely. Meantime, cream 10T of the softened butter by mashing it against the sides of a bowl till it's absolutely smooth. When liver mixture is cooled completely , stir in the lemon juice, 1 1/2 tsp of salt (may use less if you used salted butter; but remember cold food loses the flavor so it need a bit more salt), and the fresh ground black pepper. Mix well and then slowly 1T at a time, start adding and mixing in the softened 10T of butter.Pack pate into a couple of small crocks or terrines, or a small glass or ceramic bowl, smooth the top with a spatula and pour over enough clarified butter to cover the top. Chill at least 3-4 hrs or till firm. Once firm, you can also freeze it.
    Unfrozen, covered with the clarified butter, it can last up to a week. If frozen, thaw in the fridge before serving.

  5. PS: If you afford or feel like splurging for the truffle, you'd add it at the end. Enjoy!

  6. Thanks, June. I, too, have applejack since I often add it to my mulled cider. I wish I could find a truffle! One of these days I'm going to splurge on one.

  7. June, Thanks--can't wait to try it out. You are carrying on your history of generously sharing your recipes--I am still using glaze recipes you shared. Again, thank you.