For some odd reason I’ve been craving a chicken on duck liver pâté for the last few weeks. Perhaps this might be an underlying iron, vitamin A or B deficiency, or simply just a longing for a rich and hearty feel-good treat.
Either way, on my recent trip to the shops to stock up on some essentials for the weekend, I happened on some free range duck livers from Woolworths. They’re less than R20 for 250g so this turns out to be an inexpensive dish.
Of course, if you don’t like duck liver, you can always use chicken livers.
- 250g free range duck livers
- 50g butter
- 10ml olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 red onion
- 25ml brandy or port
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- salt and pepper
- 50g butter to seal
- Trim the livers of any fat and sinew, this means all the white or green bits. It’s not as scary as it seems – trust me.
- Add olive oil and butter in a frying pan on a medium high heat.
- Once the butter has melted, add the onion and cook for a few minutes till soft.
- Add the livers and cook gently for about five minutes total, turning so they brown on all sides. It’s quite important to get a good sear on the livers as the caramelisation definitely adds to the final flavour profile of your pâté.
- Add the garlic to the pan after 4 minutes and fry.
- Add the brandy and thyme. Watch out though, the brandy makes everything bubble and splatter. Bubble for a minute to allow the alcohol to burn off.
- Transfer to a liquidiser and puree until your desired consistency. Once smooth, season with salt and pepper and transfer to a ramekin.
- If you want a smoother, more silky texture you could always pass the mixture through a sieve, but I like it a bit more rustic.
- Melt the extra 50g of butter and pour on top of the pâté to seal.
- Cover with clingfilm and put in the fridge to cool down.
When you’re ready to serve the pâté, take it out of the fridge a bit before you’re ready to serve it with some toast. You can certainly play around by adding a couple of capers, cracked sea salt and pepper and dressing it up with a few sprigs of micro-greens.
Best served at room temperature.
Once the butter seal has broken the pâté must be eaten within a couple of days, but can remain in the fridge for a week or more with the seal intact.
This is such a versatile recipe that you could also add any other favour profile you like. Play around with classic sage instead of thyme, add some porchini mushrooms, cream, mustard, raisins, cranberries…etc.