Apple

Chicken, Apple and Cognac Pate: Not Your Bubba's Chopped Liver

April 13, 2016
Author Notes

Chopped liver? No matter whose bubba was making it, I grew up visiting friends and saying "No thank you." The smell alone- would drive me from my usual perch in the kitchen- to the sidewalk or playground. But as an adult, thanks greatly to The Silver Palate, I discovered that brandy, spices, herbs, and liberal amounts of butter- could change that reviled ingredient into a creamy spread of deliciousness. With cues from New England and France, my very easy pate features apple, shallots, cognac, allspice and thyme. It comes together very quickly and, while I have tried iterations, I am happiest with my original. —LE BEC FIN

  • Makes 6 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 lb. chicken livers, connective tissue removed
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, skin-on; core and seeds removed
  • 4 ounces shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves peeled garlic, minced
  • 6 Tablespoons cognac (I like St. Remy)
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, rubbed between your palms to release flavor
  • 1/2- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces soft unsalted butter
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Spray a 6 cup mold, fluted brioche tin or loaf pan. Fit into it a large piece of clear wrap, pushing to adhere to all the corners. Spray the plastic wrap. Set aside the form.
  2. Mince the apple in the food processor. Saute the shallots and garlic in the 2 ounces butter til soft. Add the chicken livers over medium heat and cook, turning, 6-10 minutes til livers are cooked but still slightly pink inside. Transfer the pan contents to a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients except butter; puree thoroughly. Add butter, a gob at a time and puree til smooth, scraping down the processor bowl from time to time. Taste the pate. Adjust the seasoning.
  3. Pour the pate into the form. Rap on the counter to remove air bubbles; smooth the top. Chill in the refrigerator til set; cover with plastic wrap and let flavors ripen up to ~ 5 days.
  4. Before serving, remove plastic wrap cover. Place the serving plate over the form and flip the pate onto the plate. Remove the remaining plastic wrap and garnish the pate.

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I am always on the lookout for innovative recipes, which is why I am just ga-ga over my recently- discovered Food52 with its amazingly innovative and talented contributors. My particular eating passions are Japanese, Indian, Mexican; with Italian and French following close behind. Turkish/Arabic/Mediterranean cuisines are my latest culinary fascination. My desert island ABCs are actually 4 Cs: citrus, cumin, cilantro, and cardamom. I am also finally indulging in learning about food history; it gives me no end of delight to learn how and when globe artichokes came to the U.S., and how and when Jerusalem artichokes went from North America to Europe. And that the Americas enabled other cuisines to become glorious. I mean where would those countries be without: Corn, Tomatoes, Chiles,Peanuts, Dried Beans, Pecans, Jerusalem Artichokes??! While I am an omnivore, I am, perhaps more than anything, fascinated by the the world of carbohydrates, particularly the innovative diversity of uses for beans, lentils and grains in South Indian and other cuisines. Baking gives me much pleasure, and of all the things I wish would change in American food, it is that we would develop an appreciation for sweet foods that are not cloyingly sweet, and that contain more multigrains. (Wouldn't it be fantastic to have a country of great bakeries instead of the drek that we have in the U.S.?!) I am so excited by the level of sophistication that I see on Food52 and hope to contribute recipes that will inspire you like yours do me. I would like to ask a favor of all who do try a recipe of mine > Would you plse write me and tell me truthfully how it worked for you and/or how you think it would be better? I know many times we feel that we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but. i really do want your honest feedback because it can only help me improve the recipe.Thanks so much.