Chicken liver pate

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I think pate is great for a Christmas dinner starter as all of the work can be done in advance. I like to serve a sweet and sour style sauce or chutney with this pate. At the Merchant hotel we make a red onion jam to accompany it but a good quality store bought Cumberland sauce or chutney will work well and save you a lot of time in the kitchen. This recipe may seem a little daunting at first read but it really is very simple if you just follow the recipe.


1 onions, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic
2 smoked bacon rashers, diced
500g chicken livers
100ml brandy
100ml Madeira
4 whole eggs
1 egg yolks
200ml clarified butter


Place a large pan onto the heat and add a little butter. Add the onions and garlic and cook to translucent. Add the bacon and cook until it starts to brown. Turn up the heat in the pan and when hot add the chicken livers, brown very quickly. Add the Madeira and the brandy, flame and reduce by half. Remove from the heat and place on a tray to cool, keep stirring the livers so they cool very quickly.

When the livers cool to room temperature add the eggs and the yolks and blend with a stick blender or in a food processor to a puree, pass the mixture through a fine sieve and blend in the clarified butter. The butter must be the same temperature as the liver mix to incorporate properly. Season well.

Pour the mixture back through a sieve and into a terrine mould until level with the top of the mould. Place in a tray and half fill with water, cook at 140c for 45mins. After this time check that the terrine is set in the middle by piercing it with a skewer, if the skewer comes out clean it is ready, if not continue to cook for a further 10mins or until cooked through.
Cool for at least 24 hours before removing from the terrine.

At this point the terrine can be covered with softened butter. To do this beat softened butter until it starts to lighten. Spread this in an even layer over all sides of the terrine.

Slice the terrine and serve with chutney, a few dressed salad leaves and toasted bread.

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