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Chicken Liver Pâté with Apples and Cognac

“I love this pâte,” says Chef Lynne Gigliotti. “My friend and former chef George Pechin taught me how to make this back in the 1970s. It is still as good today as it ever was. I like to make the entire recipe and freeze some. The apples, cognac, and chicken livers are a really nice combination of savory and subtle sweetness and this will appeal even to those who think that they don’t like liver. If you like, you can make it with duck livers instead."

Chef's Note: You will want to slightly oversalt the pâté because once it is chilled, the salt flavor is muted quite a bit.

These and other great recipes are from The Culinary Institute of America's cookbook, Mediterranean Cooking at Home.

Chicken liver pate with apples and cognac recipe - F

Ingredients

Makes 2 quarts

  • 1 lb chicken livers, cleaned and dried
  • Salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3 shallots, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 apple, Gala or Fuji, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/4 cup cognac

Directions

  1. Season the livers with salt and pepper.
  2. In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil, add the livers, and sear on a high heat. Remove the livers from the pan and set aside on a plate. Reduce the heat, add 2 tablespoons of the butter, and melt in the pan. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf and cook slowly until the shallots are tender.
  3. When the shallots are tender, add the apple and increase the heat. Cook until the apple is tender, then return the livers to the pan and increase the heat.
  4. Pour the cognac into the pan and light it with a match. Cook until the flame goes out, about 1 minute. Remove and discard the thyme sprig and bay leaf. Transfer the liver and apple mixture to a blender, add the remaining butter, and blend until velvety smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Pour the pâté into ramekins or a larger soufflé dish to chill. Once chilled, place plastic wrap directly onto the surface so it won’t oxidize. You can spread it on toasts or serve it along with fresh apple slices.

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