Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Chicken Liver Pate with Caramalized Apples

Well another day off, and another project. I am awaiting a truly epic repair bill on my 78 Volkswagen Bus, so I had to think of something to do with that in mind. Chicken Liver (well any liver with the exception of foie gras) is dirt cheap. This cost maybe two to three dollars with some help from a few pantry items.

Liver tends to have a very metallic taste that turns most people off. This in mind, some good spice choices, and adding some sweetness to the equation will help to balance, and take the dominance out of the metallic taste.

I recently recieved Garde Manger: The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen (Culinary Institute of America) in the mail and was skimming over the pages and found a recipe for chicken liver pate. In general a force meat will have a ratio of one part fat to three parts meat. I still had duck fat lurking in the fridge, perfect for this project.

You will need a terrine mold (very expensive), a bottle of white wine (I had some nice sweet Riesling in the fridge begging to be used up), chicken liver (I had about a 1/3 of a pound), slice of bread, creme, duck fat, cinnamon, cloves, anise, sugar, butter, an egg, and I think that was it. 

First melt about a 1/4 cup of sugar in about the same amount of wine and let reduce, add slices of apple, and a nub of butter. When the apple has started to break down, remove them, and continue to reduce the liquid until a syrupy consistency.  Let cool.

Heat up a pan with a little oil and butter. Season and sear off the liver. You are just looking to sear the outside and keep the inside pink, anymore and you will absolutely kill the liver. De glaze the pan with some wine, and the left over syrup mixture. Reduce, well scrapping the bottom of the fond. Let everything cool.

Its important to note that keeping everything cold well working with it is of the utmost importance.

Soak a crustless piece of bread in cream. This is what is called a panade and is an important part of pate. It will improve texture.

The best thing to do now is to line your terrine mold with plastic wrap for ease of removal, and lay the apple slices in the bottom (the bottom is the top of the terrine,) and pour some of the syrupy mixture on top. This is the sweetness component to mask the metallic liver taste. The best tool for the next step is a food processor. Take your chilled duck fat, liver, panade, salt and pepper (over season for food to be served cold,) leftover syrup, and one whole egg, and blitz until a paste like texture. Pour this mixture into the terrine mold, and let the flavors merry in the fridge for a few hours.

Cook the terrine in a water bath, in a 300 degree oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees F. Remove, let cool, and set in the fridge.

Enjoy on canap├ęs, toasted brioche, crostinis, or whatever your heart desires.