chicken liver parfait
I’ve never really cared for chicken livers, it has this unpleasant dry grainy texture when cooked that just doesn’t agree with me. However I make an exception for Chicken Liver Parfait, where the livers are blended to a wonderful (and much more palatable) creamy consistency. This smooth pâté has a real depth of flavour from the liver and bacon, as well as a beautiful sweetness from the port. It makes a great starter on toast points or crackers, but I prefer to make a meal of it – serving it with a large balsamic-and-olive-oil-dressed salad, lots of toasted sourdough and a bottle of wine.
Chicken Liver Parfait
(adapted from Stéphane Reynaud’s Ripailles)
500g (I lb) chicken livers
5 rashers of streaky bacon, chopped
200g (7 oz) unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic
5 juniper berries
pinch of ground cinnamon
100ml (2/5 cup) port
1 tbsp walnut oil
Heat the walnut oil in a pan on a medium heat and cook the onion and garlic until golden. Add the chicken livers, bacon and juniper berries and sear the livers until coloured on all sides. Remove and set aside.
Deglaze the pan with the port, making sure you scrape the tasty bits stuck to the pan and cook down until thick and syrupy. Pour into a food processor or blender and add the liver mixture, 150g of the butter, cinnamon and salt. Blitz until smooth.
Spoon the parfait into 4 terrine dishes, pressing down to fill the dishes well. Chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
To finish, melt the remaining butter then pour on the terrines to cover. Return to the fridge to harden the butter layer. This step is not essential and is really more for presentation than anything – we normally skip it (especially when it’s just the two of us eating), after all the parfait itself has plenty enough butter!
Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving to allow the parfait to come to room temperature.