Can I substitute Sherry for Madeira when making chopped chicken livers? Thanks!

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9 Comments

arielleclementine November 28, 2011
thank you so much- you guys have been really helpful! i've never made pate before- after reading your answers, i think my plan is to follow Ina's recipe and sub in some newly-acquired apple brandy for the madeira. thanks again!
 
aargersi November 29, 2011
That will be DELISH Arielle! I have used apple brandy, and I also put caramelized apples and onions in mine. And a lot of butter. And bacon. Yum. It's under Most Requested Pate Ever if you are interested (because I have a group of friends that request it whenever we go to their house)
 
boulangere November 26, 2011
In any pâté, you want to avoid getting it too "wet." That's to say, adding liquors whose alcohol content is too low to allow them to be flambéed in order to burn off some of the alcohol, and which are also low in water content. If the pâté is made with more of a wine than a cognac, you risk adding too much water, and also risk that it won't set up properly.
 
amysarah November 25, 2011
I'm thinking you mean something along the lines of a chicken liver pate? In that case, yes, sherry sounds lovely. Madeira, port , cognac - all delicious in the mix. A traditional Jewish 'chopped liver', however, contains no liquor at all.
 
arielleclementine November 25, 2011
Thanks! Yes- I have a cup(!) of chicken fat to use up and I've always wanted to make pâté. I was going to use the barefoot contessa chopped liver recipe because she calls for a cup of fat, but I only have sherry, and didn't want to spring for Madeira if I didn't have to. What liquid would you use for a traditional Jewish pate? Stock? Water? Thanks again!
 
amysarah November 26, 2011
Well, again - iconic 'traditional' Jewish chopped liver doesn't involve add'l liquid - just the livers, chicken fat and/or butter, sauteed onion, hard-boiled egg, s&p. Its texture isn't as fine/smooth as a liver pate, so there's no need for a fluid to smooth or loosen it in a Cuisinart (it's typically done with a food mill or mashed by hand.)

Having said that,as with any tradition, there of course are many personal variations -including much more complicated ones, e.g., Ina Garten's (I looked hers up - a CUP of chicken fat? Wow.) Her recipe looks more like a pate - with the Madeira, herbs, food processor...

But semantics aside, whatever she calls her recipe, it looks pretty tasty - and sherry would be a good sub for Madeira. I've used cognac in a chicken liver pate, which is lovely too. (Hope this makes sense!)
 
arielleclementine November 26, 2011
You're amazing! Thanks so much for all of your help!!
 
Merrill S. November 25, 2011
I agree!
 
petitbleu November 25, 2011
I would tend to say yes. I think sherry would be delicious.
 
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