I love to serve chicken liver pate with a crispy melba toast and a dollop of something sweet. Its silken smooth so it needs the crunch. The Marmalade offers a bitter-sweet flavour which is rather delicious and quite Christmassy too. If you want to be really wild, stir a splash of whiskey into the marmalade to give it that boozy edge.
I sort of had an intention to make a clementine jelly to go with the pate, but that plan fell apart when I realised I was running out of year. You know the feeling as you catapult towards Christmas in the silly season and suddenly realise you have bitten off more than we can chew? Literally and figuratively. I once made jelly out of dessert wine which was delectable with this pate.
I had also planned on doing a few more Christmas recipes (as I do EVERY year) – but never got it together either. Note to self to be a bit more organised next year. I love this season and the food that comes with it the most, so I always disappoint myself if I havent come up with something as innovative as my mince pie and frangipane tart, or my apple mince-pie crumble bars (My favourite ever), and my boozy cherry and Christmas pudding strudel with chocolate. These hot cross cinnamon sticky buns would be perfect for this time of year too. Ah well there is always next year.
In the meantime this is my best ever chicken liver pate which is so very easy to make. I always make a double batch and freeze off ramekins for later use. It’s so nice to pop in a basket for a summer picnic.
I have made focaccia melba toast before, or actually melba toast from any good bread, and its also perfect with crispy flatbread, but for these little party canapes I made them from very thinly sliced stale baguette. The marmalade is a very good quality store bought Seville marmalade which has nice bitterness. The free-range chicken liver pate comes from The Butcher Shop & Grill butchery deli. You can read about this lovely restaurant and shop open 7 days a week until 11pm at night here. Situated so conveniently near to where I live on the Atlantic Seaboard.
chicken liver pate – recipe
- 250gm free-range chicken livers
- 125gm butter (and a bit extra to coat the top if desired)
- 1 large onion (white), chopped
- 1 – 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 20ml brandy
- freshly ground black or white pepper (I prefer white)
- Thinly sliced stale baguette for the melba toast
Melt the butter in the pan and saute the onion for about 5 minutes until turning soft.
Add the chicken livers, garlic and bay leaves and cook over a moderate heat, stirring until the chicken livers are just done – about 4 – 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the brandy just before finishing off and allow this to cook for a couple of minutes.
Remove from the heat and let it cool.
Remove the bay leaves and blend in a food processor until it is as smooth as it will go. It takes a few minutes. Season with salt and lots of freshly ground white pepper (to taste). Spoon the pate into ramekins or other serving dishes and cool.
When cool melt some butter (microwave is great) and pour over the pate which looks pretty decorated with a bay leaf. Cool in the fridge until serving.
To make the melba toast slice a stale baguette as thinly as possible and lay the slices out on a cooling rack which you have placed over a large baking tray. This allows for the warm air to flow under and over the bread to dry it out. Bake in an oven pre heated to 150C for about 20 minutes until dried out and just starting to colour. They do not need to be golden brown. Store in an airtight container until you are ready to serve.
If you are making the canapes yourself vs allowing your guests to spread themselves, do so just before serving as the melba toast will soften quite quickly.
I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.