Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chicken Liver Pate with Pistachios

I know, I know, the thought of liver sends most of you screaming and running for the hills.  For the most part, it does me, too, except I have acquired a taste for chicken liver. I only like it in a couple of  recipes, and let me assure you, I loved it in this one.  There is a suaveness and sophistication that is beyond description.  If you need something different and elegant, I hope you try this.  I made this for New Year's, and this went down a storm with everyone, except for Ole Sweetie-Pi.  He was running for the hills!

Speaking of elegant, I discovered this keeper recipe on the very elegant Christine's blog,  Fresh Local and BestI am a big fan of Christine; her food is consistently amazing and her photography and travels leave me wanting more.  Christine's recipe and  title is fancier than mine, as my little grocery store didn't have porcini mushrooms, and you know they didn't have duck fat, smiles.  I made do with regular button mushrooms and real butter, and this pate was still out of this world wonderful. 

Chicken Liver Porcini Pate with Pistachios
(Christine's Fresh Local and Best)

5 grams dried porcini mushrooms (I used 5 grams fresh)
200 grams chicken livers
75 grams butter, divided
3-4 thyme sprigs
1 scallion
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Marsala wine
2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons salted pistachios, coarsely chopped, divided
3 tablespoons duck fat or butter

Soak the porcinis in hot water for at least fifteen minutes, then squeeze the excess liquid out of them, and chop finely.

Prepare the liver:  Put the liver in a strainer and rinse the livers under cold running water.  Dry with a paper towel.  Remove the sinews and membrane. Cut large livers in half.

Melt 50 grams of the butter in a small saucepan and set aside.

Rinse and dry the scallion and thyme.  Pluck off the thyme leaves.  Finely chop the scallion.  Set aside.

In a small-to-medium saute pan, melt the remainder of the butter over medium heat until it foams.  Saute the scallions.  Add the thyme, liver and porcinis.  Saute until the liver is cooked through, approximately six minutes.  You can test for doneness by taking one of the larger pieces and cutting through the middle.  The center should be barely pink.  Add the Marsala wine and salt and pepper to taste. 

Briefly cool the liver and  then place the liver mixture  into a food processor.  Pulse several times, watching for texture; you do not want to pulse this too fine.

Stir in the cooled butter that was set aside and the heavy cream.  Add half the coarsely chopped pistachios and mix into the pate.  Put the pate in a small bowl that still leaves some headroom at the top.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Melt the 3 tablespoons of duck fat or butter over low heat and pour over the chilled pate with a tablespoon.  Evenly distribute the fat by tilting the bowl so that the fat covers the pate.  Sprinkle the remainder of the pistachios over the pate, cover, and refrigerate for another hour.

Christine says the pate should last about four days.  Ours was gone long before that!


  1. I can count on one hand the number of times in my life that I've had liver. And I like it. I'm just not sure I could prepare it for myself. So I'll just have to have some lovely individual make it for me. Because this sounds delicious!

  2. I love pate and I'm sure I'd like this recipe though in general I don't like liver ;-)

  3. Are you okay with `I`m running for the hills` lol
    Seriously I`m always up to at least trying something new!

  4. I love liver and pate so I definitely try this!

  5. KNOW I love you, but!!! (joking). First this recipe has LIVER...then the measurements are in grams....then you talk about membranes and sinew... You have REALLY thrown me a curve!!!

  6. This recipe turns out well even if you don't use porcinis, I know because I've done it before. I'm glad that you enjoyed it as much as I did!

  7. To be completely honest with you, the thought of liver ordinarily makes me want to gag, BUT my Mom makes the best chopped liver (I think it's also called liver pate) and I love it!!! My Mom made it not too long ago and my daughter even loved it...she was 2 1/2 at the time! I'm going to pass this recipe along to her to compare notes!

  8. i have never tried it, but i'd really like to! this looks just wonderful!

  9. The picture makes the recipe sound good but I'm one that cannot eat liver. Don't think I could even get it near my mouth but I'm sure this probably is delicious!!!

  10. I have been in stitches reading some of your comments.

    Coleen, yours was the last one I read before I went to bed, and I think I feel asleep laughing and woke up laughing.

    Debbie, as a rule I can't get my mouth near liver either. I've tried beef liver off and on over the years, and can tolerate a couple bites of it, but I probably won't be ordering it in a restaurant, LOL

    BettyR, Ole Sweetie-Pi is such a fussy eater; if I counted the number of things we'd have everyday, it would be just beef and potatoes, with a side of spinach. He has often told me that he's never eaten (or tried to eat, or "run for the hills" over so many different foods til he met me.

    I can usually count on three good laughs a day around here hahahahahaha

  11. Was doing a search for a sausage gravy recipe, since I don't have my Marcia Adams cookbook where I'm currently staying. Found your blog through good fortune, and am now happily following ... :)


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