Before the avocado toast craze, my people loved pâté. It’s one of those gifts we inherited from our French colonizers, and I think we probably apply it better than the French do. Most Vietnamese bánh mì shops will shmear a bit of pâté into a baguette before stuffing with all the meats and veggies. We even use it in our savory pâté chaud pastries, little puff pastry pillows of deliciousness. A little pâté goes a long way. And while you could buy the little tins from France or perhaps even the fresh Trader Joe’s version – home made is so easy, so fresh, and so delicious. I whipped this up in under 20 minutes, then let it set for a few hours before slathering over some sandwich bread. Thanks to my cousin-in-law for sharing this method and ingredient list.
Chicken Liver Pâté
1 large vidalia onion, rough chop
2 heads of garlic, peeled and kept whole
1 pound chicken liver, trimmed
4 tbs butter, at room temp
splash of cognac, optional [I can’t tell the difference]
1 hard-boiled egg
salt, sugar, and pepper, to taste
In a pan over a medium flame, heat a bit of olive oil and caramelize the onions and garlic until golden brown. Add more oil and adjust the heat as needed to prevent burning. To the pan (or if you have a small pan, then do this in batches), add the liver and stir-fry, until all the liquids have reduced and just about all evaporated. For me, this took about 10 minutes. Try not to overcook the liver, as it will be chalky and the texture won’t be as smooth. Add 2 tablespoons of soft butter and a splash of cognac (if using), and allow to simmer. Remove from heat.
Transfer the liver-onion-garlic sautée into the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until smooth. Add the remaining soft butter, hard boiled egg, and season with salt, sugar and pepper, to taste. For 1 pound of liver, I used about a rounded teaspoon of kosher salt, a half teaspoon of sugar, and a ton of freshly-cracked pepper. I like the flecks of pepper in my pâté, but feel free to season to your own liking.
Transfer the pâté into smaller containers – I was able to divide 1 pound of liver into 2 small tupperware containers pictured here. One went to my mother, and I kept the other. Chill and enjoy.
Pâté is not the most photogenic food, but it’s so delicious. The garlic is still very prominent, but sweet and mellow thanks to the long sautée. The egg and butter adds a nice creaminess, and the overall dish isn’t too liver-y. This is not your grandma’s liver and onions. It’s waaay better.
In addition to toast and sandwiches, pâté is really good with crackers, and we paired some of it with cheese and mustard for an at-home cheeseboard. Pâté – one of the few things we can thank our French colonizers for.
In other news, summer 2016 has been great. And while I look forward to my favorite season autumn – there is something about the long summer days, the al fresco dining, the flowers, the beach days, the bbq’s, and the sunshine that I am going to miss. So hope you enjoy these last few days folks!
Thanks for reading,