Pate is generally thought of as a luxury item, which will seem silly once you realize how easy (and inexpensive) it is to make. Plus, it freezes beautifully, so it can be kept on hand for surprise holiday guests.
3 slices bacon
1 medium yellow onion, chopped medium (about 1 cup)
2 medium carrots, grated
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound chicken livers (preferably organic or free range), trimmed of fat and rinsed
2 tablespoons brandy or port wine
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch grated nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
Garnish: chopped parsley
In a large skillet, cook bacon over moderate heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Add onion and continue cooking until transparent and golden. Add carrots, garlic, and butter; cook until carrots are tender. Add chicken livers and brandy or port wine; cook, stirring gently, until livers are cooked through but slightly pink in the center, about 6 to 8 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add chopped parsley, stir, then remove from heat and place in a food processor and process until smooth. If you like a creamier consistency, add heavy cream. The pate can be frozen after cooling: freeze (wrapped first in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil) in individual ramekins for easy serving. Or, store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Serve garnished with parsley on a platter surrounded by crackers, sliced French bread, gherkins, onions, and capers, if desired.
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