It’s a Gamble…Ramble…
Lord knows that most the time I rarely use a recipe, and if I end up using one I never follow everything to a T. I am often inspired to make something sporadically but rarely do I ever know how to recreate it. So as soon as I figured this recipe out I knew I just had to write it down. This recipe was created for my client. This same recipe will also be used for a baby shower for which I will be catering later next month.
I adapted this recipe from Saveur.com and it was one of Richard Olney’s recipes for a poultry liver terrine, from Simple French Cooking. I assumed that pâté should have a certain consistency. I was worried about not having a proper machine to make a smooth pâté but surely enough the idea of a very earthy and herbaceous chicken liver spread delighted my senses. The instructions called for hand minced liver, and a bit of weight was lifted from my worries.
Everything and the kitchen sink in this one. I opted for more butter, the addition of creme fraiche and a bit more herbs. So, forgive me if this isn’t the normal protocol for creating a liver spread. It was a bit of a gamble to create something like this and not really knowing how it would turn out. But to my surprise I had the upper hand on this one.
This spread is enriched through bacon fat, the creme fraiche, and butter which becomes extra decadent when it solidifies. But it doesn’t taste heavy or overly rich at all. So with my handy scissors I went out to the garden and cut up a few sprigs of sage, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram.
If you do not have Creme Fraiche handy I am sure you could work with sour cream. Bacon fat is also optional. However, I would have really liked to have used Duck Fat. It would have lent a bit of a cleaner taste and would have been really pretty to have a nice set layer atop the spread.Rustic Chicken Liver Spread w/ Garden Herbs
1 1/2 lb Chicken Livers 1/2 C. Creme Fraiche ( I used Cow Girl Creamery)
1/2 C. Softened butter 1/2 T. Fresh Rosemary 1/2 T. Fresh Marjoram 1/2 T. Fresh Thyme 1/2 T. Fresh Sage 1 Medium Yellow Onion
2 Cloves Garlic s 3 T. Bacon Fat or Duck Fat or Goose Fat 2 Medium Eggs 1/2 C. Milk.
1 1/2 C. White Bread Crumbs 1 T. Freshly cracked black pepper 1/8 C. White Wine
Directions Things to Prepare and Set Aside…
Have your butter at room temp.
- Finely dice your onions, almost a mince.
- Make very skinny slivers of your garlic.
Clean your livers of any discolorations or sinewy pieces. Chop your livers for a small (not fine) consistency.
Take pull apart the fragrant leaves from the stems of the herbs and fine chop.
Lightly toast your bread, remove the crust and place in a plastic bag. Crush with heavy object to make the crumbs.
Turn on your skillet to high let skillet come to temp, and add a bit of olive oil. Add your onions and garlic let cook till softened. Add your livers and cook till there is no longer any visible pink. Add your wine and scrape bottom of pan, now add all your herbs. Season livers with salt to taste.
In bowl combine your breadcrumbs, milk, eggs, and creme fraiche. Season with salt about 1/2 a tablespoon.
Take your livers off heat and your fresh cracked pepper. Let cook to room temp. Add your softened butter. Combine bread crumb/egg mixture. Place in your desired dish. Let cool, and let it set in your refrigerator overnight. However there is one other important step
Note: I like to use a potato masher or a large fork to further mash the livers after they get off the heat in order to get a much smoother paste-like consistency.
This is why I love cooking. It’s the ability to make something ordinary like chicken livers into something completely heavenly and scrumptious. I also love the ability to invent, re-invent, and experiment with the mammoth supply of food items around us. It can sometimes be a gamble, but at least this time the end result gave me a winning hand.