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Chicken Liver Pate

Chicken liver pate with beetroot, orange and parsley salad, and Melba Toast

Ingredients

600g chicken livers, cleaned (white sinew and outer membrane removed)

2 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

1 teaspoon chopped thyme

1 tablespoon Cognac

1 tablespoon Port

150g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Sea salt

Ground black pepper

60g melted clarified butter


For the beetroot, orange and parsley salad:

4 medium beetroots, peeled

3 oranges, peeled and segmented

Small bunch of flat leaf parsley

1 tablespoon good olive oil

Sea salt

Ground black pepper


For the Melba Toast:

4 slices of brown bread

Method

Begin by lining a terrine mould with clingfilm. There should be enough to line the mould, and fold over the top of the pate once it’s in the mould.

For the Melba Toast, toast the sliced bread on both sides. Cut off the crusts and with the toast flat on the cutting board, slice through it horizontally to give two thinner slices. Then cut each slice into either 2 or 4 triangles (depending on how large you want your slices) and put under a grill, toasted side down. Remove when they are evenly toasted and attractively curled at the corners.

Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan over a medium heat, and sweat the garlic, shallots and thyme until softened, but not coloured. Put in a food processor. Return the pan to the heat without rinsing, with another knob of butter. When the butter begins to foam, add enough chicken livers to the pan to cover the base, and fry for 2-3 minutes until very slightly ‘springy’. Add to the food processor containing the shallots and garlic. Repeat this, frying in batches until all the chicken livers have been sautéed.

Deglaze the pan by returning it to the heat and pouring in the Cognac and Port. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the pan, releasing the caramelised frying juices. Continue to boil the Cognac and Port and reduce by half. Pour this into the food processor with any of the remaining butter you have.

Blend the chicken livers until perfectly smooth and season with salt and pepper. If the pate appears smooth, it should not need sieving – but if it’s lumpy, you can pass it through a sieve, pressing it through with a wooden spoon or spatula (or just leave it for a rustic textured pate). Spoon the pate into the terrine mould, making sure it’s even. Then carefully pour on the clarified butter, so it covers the top of the pate to a depth of no more than ½cm. Put in the fridge until the butter has set, then fold over the overlapping clingfilm so the pate is completely wrapped and leave to set in the fridge. Make the beetroot and orange salad when the pate is set. Peel a raw beetroot and slice thinly, preferably with a mandolin, then cut each slice into thin ‘matchsticks’. Peel the orange and, using a small, sharp knife, cut out the individual segments, reserving 1 tablespoon of juice from the orange. Toss the beetroot, orange segments, orange juice and olive oil and serve in a suitably sized salad bowl. Season with salt and pepper and place flat parsley leaves on the top.

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