Monday, September 18, 2006

Chicken Liver Pate On Garlic Toasts

I got the idea for this recipe some time ago from Sam at Becks and Posh who made some chicken liver crostini to take to an Oscar party. I think I went out the very next day and bought myself some chicken livers. Then I put them in the freezer. Then a few months went by. Then, on culinary overload from all the food being brought to Beach Night, someone suggested that for the next one we bring only appetizers. Great idea, everyone agreed. So last Monday I took the chicken livers out of the freezer and the next day prepared this pate and garlic toasts. I pretty much followed Sam's recipe for the pate, so all the credit should go to her. I even used my newly acquired immersion blender, per her suggestion, for the first time and it worked very well.

If you read my last post, you will know that I've been very busy and haven't had the time to put anything on my cooking blog. (Oh, but that doesn't stop me from taking the occasional photo as you will see if you visit my garden blog!) This morning, as I was preparing for this post, I cruised around to my favorite food bloggers to see what had been going on while I was away and found that Jann at The Traveling Food Lady, just made a chicken liver pate that looks great and I'll bet tastes just as good as it looks. Knowing that quite often we foodies will come up with the same idea at the same time, I feel that I'm in good company.

Chicken Liver Pate with Garlic Toasts
Adapted from Sam of Becks and Posh

4 tablespoons unsalted butter - divided
4 tablespoons olive oil - divided
1 large sweet onion such as Walla Walla, chopped fine
6-8 medium sized fresh sage leaves
1 pound chicken livers, all fat and sinew removed
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 4-ounce jar capers, drained, rinsed and minced
1-2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 long sourdough baguette, preferrably seeded
olive oil for the bread
1 large clove garlic, peeled and cut in half

Heat 2 tablespoons each olive oil and butter in a heavy skillet over low heat. When the oils have melted, toss in the sage and chopped onions and saute very slowly until the onions are translucent and the sage is very soft, about 10 minutes. Adjust the heat so the onions don't burn.
With a slotted spoon, remove the onion saute from the pan and set aside. Adjust the heat to medium and add the remaining olive oil and butter to the pan. When it has melted, add the chicken livers and saute until they are browned all over but still pink in the centers, about 10 minutes.
Return the onions and sage to the pan, adding the white wine and continue to cook for 2 minutes more.
Remove the pan from the heat and blend the mixture in a food processor until just roughly mixed. The pate should be coarse. Use an immersion blender if you have one - they're fun.
Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in the minced capers and chopped parsley.
Place the bowl, covered, in the fridge to cool and firm up a bit. When ready to serve, let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes.

While the pate is cooling, slice the baguette thinly on a hard diagonal, making the slices as long as possible. Pour some olive oil into a bowl and, using a pastry brush, lightly brush both sides of each baguette slice.
Put the slices on a large baking sheet and place in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until they turn golden brown, turning the slices over halfway through the cooking time. Watch to see that they don't burn.
When the slices are nicely toasted, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
While they are still warm, rub the cut side of the garlic clove over one side of each slice. You don't have to put a lot of garlic on it, just rub lightly once or twice to get the garlic essence onto the toasts.
At this point, you can cool the toasts completely and store them in an airtight container until ready for serving.
These were very easy to transport to the beach. The toasts were put into a large square plastic container with a snap-on lid and the pate had already been spooned into a round plastic container with a snap-on lid. Taking them to the beach was a snap!(sorry) Spread pate on a piece of garlic toast to serve.

And now, I've got something I just have to share with David L, who posted Out Of Reach And Out Of Sight in August. (To truly appreciate the tenor of his post, please read all of the comments.)

I had already cut the fat and sinew from my chicken livers and had set them aside on a counter near the stove while I prepped the rest of my ingredients. At one time I glanced over and saw that the livers had been steadily sliding to the side of the cutting board upon which they had been resting and were dangerously closed to sliding onto the counter. I picked up the cutting board and shook the quivering, glistening livers back to center and set them down on a different counter. Sometime after returning to my work, a small, red, gelatinous mass caught my eye. A piece of chicken liver had, indeed, escaped the cutting board and now was slowly but surely slipping down into the crack between counter and stove.

I watched it for a second to see just how quickly it was moving. Did I have time to take a photo before it completely slipped away? Just barely.
I know I'm really dating myself here, but does anyone remember the original horror flick The Blob? With a very young Steve McQueen in his first starring role? I saw it as a kid when it first came out in theaters. It was hokey and scary at the same time. Well this chicken liver, slowly slipping, disappearing into that dark nether-region that exists betwixt stove and counter, brought that movie to mind. The Blob was a brownish red quivering alien mass that rolled its way over everything, growing bigger and bigger as it ate whatever happened to be in its path. After snapping the photo I quickly retrieved the offending blob with a chop stick. Can't have something as creepy as raw chicken liver living down there, now can we?
Then, yes David, I did pull the stove out a few inches and gave both stove and counter a good scrubbing. I do have my limits.


  1. Great post today, Christine. Love the loiver story, too. ANd the crostini? Ooh la la!

  2. Oh, I'm a big Steve McQueen fan. Super cool--especially in Bullitt. But, those livers do look like the Blob. Shudder! They look so much better cooked. Yum!

    I love my immersion blender, but yours looks like it's more powerful. Maybe I need to upgrade.

  3. Thanks so much Mimi. I love your plum post today!

    Sher, Guess where I got my immersion blender - At the Davis Nugget on Pole Line and Covell. On sale from $90 to $50! How could I resist?

  4. This pate looks absolutey delicious and I bet it tastes better than mine! Great minds do think alike! Those traveling-blobbie livers...I was are too funny!!


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