This Christmas, for the very first time in my life, I am hosting my family for Christmas. My parents arrived about a week ago, followed soon after by my sister. I thought the long-awaited end of the semester would provide ample opportunity to post recipe and after recipe here, but it turns out, the opposite is the case. Even with my parents taking it upon themselves to shovel snow and feed my cats at 7:30 every morning, organizing a household is hard work. Since they arrived, I have made a nourishing Moroccan harira, a fiery Malaysian panang curry, various pastas, and light-as-air chocolate crisp cookies. The problem is that I’ve photographed none of it. I had good intentions, but the idea of clearing a space in the mess (my family’s arrival coincided with an explosion of stuff that covers every surface in the house) and finding my camera right before dinner just seemed like so much trouble after a whole evening of cooking.
Luckily, right before they arrived, I made this pâté for a potluck. At some other time, I will tell you about my quest to learn to like offal. Suffice to say, I have succeeded with this pate. One pound of liver from free range chickens (at a cost of a whopping $2.00) made enough pate for the potluck, for a casual dinner the next night, and pre-dinner munchies for my family for the past week. Sexy, silky, and lightly spiked with cognac, this pâté will be welcomed at any New Year’s Eve party. Make it at least three or four days early, as the liver flavor mellows with time. But be careful not to make it too early, as the pâté may be too tempting for your loved ones to resist.
Pâté de Foie de Volaille
8 oz chicken, goose, or duck liver
2 shallots, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 sticks butter, at room temperature
2 tsp cognac
salt and pepper, to taste
Place livers in saucepan with 1/2 c. water, one of the shallots, half of the clove of garlic, and the herbs. Bring to a boil, then cover, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until the center of the livers are the barely pink.
Saute the remaining shallot and garlic in 2 tbsp of the butter until golden. When liver mixture has cooled, drain water, and process with in food processor until finely ground. Add butter, two tablespoons at a time until smooth and well blended. Add sauteed shallots, garlic, and cognac. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Chill for three to four days. Serve with cornichons and toasted pieces of baguette.
Source: Jacques Pepin’s Pâté