Chicken Liver ParfaitBy Mable Tan • Jun 24th, 2010 • Category: What's Cooking
I know, I know, some of you cringe at the word ‘liver’. It is a love or hate relationship. And in this case, I am a lover. I’ve never been a pale lily with offals. Having brought up by frugal (Chinese) parents, we ate almost every part of an animal and even when my brother and sister turned their noses away from offals, I delighted in them; intestines, stomach, fish head, eyeballs and brains, trottles, brisket, chicken feet etc. (Though heart or lungs aren’t quite my type of tea, I never say no if it’s cooked interesting enough.)
Chicken liver parfait is basically a silky smooth pâte. The one thing I have come to realize about cooking is that, you appreciate and admire the people who make food every day for a living. We don’t realize how much effort goes into making a meal, let alone, a dish. As easy it is to make pâte, it is a disgustingly messy process. Eating liver is one thing but having to blend liver? Urrrghhhh…. And push it through a sieve. EWW!!!
Not a pretty sight but thank God it tasted incredible.
I will never, ever, eat pâte in vain again. Only with admiration and gratitude.
Chicken Liver Parfait (serves 6)
(adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Jamie Kitchen)
- 400g softened butter
- olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 455g chicken livers, trimmed
- 5 tbsp brandy
- fresh sage leaves
- Put 150g of butter in a bowl and melt slowly in the oven at 110°C until it has separated. Strain off the yellow clarified butter into another bowl and set aside. Throw away the milky liquid.
- Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and slowly fry the onion and garlic until soft and tender, then set aside.
- Wipe the pan clean and add some olive oil again to cook the liver. Cook the liver in one layer until lightly coloured but still a little pink in the middle. Overcook liver will become grainy rather than having that smooth texture you want.
- Pour in the brandy (but watch your hair!). Simmer for a minute, then take the livers off the heat and tip into a food processor along with the onion and garlic.
- Blitz into a smooth purée. Add the remaining butter and continue to blitz. Season the mixture. Then push it through a sieve once (I couldn’t bear to do it twice as Jamie said. Too gross.) and divide into serving bowls.
- Fry the sage leaves in a little hot oil until crisp and drain on kitchen paper.
- Sprinkle over the parfaits. Spoon the clarified butter over the sage leaves.
- Leave the parfaits to set in the fridge for an hour but the flavours will develop over a couple of days.
Note: They will keep for at least 2 weeks if the butter seal is not disturbed and kept airtight.