Chicken liver pate
- Cut away any sinew, greenish bits or blood from the chicken livers. Then place the livers in a bowl and add the milk (use more if needed to cover the livers). Soak for half an hour to remove bitterness from the livers.
- Heat 40g of the butter in a frying pan. When pan is really hot, drain off the milk quickly fry the livers, turning once – just long enough so they cook through but are still slightly pink inside. This will only take a few minutes if the pan was really hot.
- Put the livers (and their frying butter), 80g of the softened butter and all the cream into a food processor or blender.
- Add the brandy to the same frying pan and bring to the boil to burn off the alcohol. Then pour into the food processor/blender.
- Season with sea salt and white pepper and blend until you have a smooth mixture.
- It will still be grainy – so push the mixture through a wire sieve into a bowl with a spatula. This makes it a super smooth pate - the narrower the sieve mesh the longer this will take, but the smoother the pate will be!
- Pour the pate into a shallow dish or individual dishes (use attractive dishes if you plan to serve it in them).
- Flatten and smooth the top of each pate, and then refrigerate until it starts to set (about 30 minutes).
- Melt the remaining 60g of butter (30 seconds in the microwave, or in a small saucepan). Skim the surface to remove the frothy stuff. Gently spoon the butter right across the pate to seal it. Melt more butter if needed to seal fully.
- Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before eating. Once it is sealed with butter it will keep for a few days in the fridge.
- Serve with caramelised onion or your favourite fruit chutney, cornichons (baby gherkins), and sourdough or melba toast (or a gluten-free alternative, if required).
- Glass dishes or small jars look really good for serving because you can see the pate as well as the surface butter.
- Chicken livers are not always available in supermarkets so it is best to check first, or order them from a butcher.
- Don’t use frozen chicken livers for this dish – when defrosted lots of liquid comes out of them which makes frying quickly difficult.
- Fizz pairs beautifully with chicken liver pate - slashing through the fattiness and lifting yet balancing the richness. If you are on a budget, then head over to Aldi and pick up a bottle of Philippe Michel Crémant du Jura Sparkling Chardonnay (£7). If you have a few more quid to spend then Tesco's Finest Blanquette de Limoux 1531 (£10) The 2008 is a good option. Budget be damned? Then go to Majestic for the right royal English sparkler Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2009 (currently on offer – buy 2 for £18 each).