Paté – it’s just better home-made and nothing could be simpler. Few things beat smooth creamy chicken liver paté. I was about to make some, but then I spotted duck livers from The Duck Farm at P&P. Only R10 more than the chicken one? Sold.
Back home I used my basic chicken liver paté recipe with lovely thyme, sage and a generous glug of brandy. Instead of the bay-infused butter layer I normally pour on the chicken version, I topped this duck liver paté with cranberry jelly. The slightly tart sweetness is the perfect foil for all that rich creaminess. Serve this with home-made melba and a glass of something special.
All you need is…
500g duck liver (or 250g chicken liver and 250g duck liver)
1 cup finely diced red or white onion
2 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil
3 tsp finely minced garlic
2 heaped tsp fresh thyme
1 heaped tsp finely sliced fresh sage leaves
5 tbs brandy
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 tbs water
4 tbs cream
small jar (150g) of cranberry jelly
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp galatine
Loaf of ciabatta
Cook the onions over a very low heat with one tablespoon butter and one tablespoon olive oil until soft. Add the garlic and herbs and fry over low heat for a few seconds. Add another spoonful of butter to the pan, turn the heat up high and fry the livers for a minute or two until they take on lovely caramelized colour on both sides. Deglaze the pan with the brandy and the water. Add the salt and pepper, cover and cook for just a minute or two. You want the livers ever so slightly pink on the inside still. Tumble the lot into a food processor, add the cream and blitz until smooth. If you find it’s too dry, add a touch more cream.
Now you can go fancy and push this paté through a sieve to make it extra smooth and creamy. Or you can use it just as is. Place the mixture in a large bowl or several smaller bowls, cover the surface with cling film and allow to cool down. Melt the cranberry jelly with the lemon juice. Add the gelatine to a bowl with 3 tbs water and stir. Place the gelatine over a pan of lightly simmering water until it has dissolved then stir it into the warm cranberry jelly and pour it over the cold paté. Refrigerate until cold and set. This paté improves with standing, so make it a day or two before you intend to serve it.
To make the melba, slice the bread very thinly. Bread that’s a few days old slices easily. If you are working with fresh bread, simply freeze it for a few hours. You’ll find it much easier to slice thinly. Place the slices on a baking tray and bake at 100 degrees Celsius until they’re hard and dry. Store in an airtight container.