THE PERFECT . . .
Chicken liver pate
T he worst thing you can do with pate is overcook
the livers. Home cooks are in fear of killing everyone if they don’t cook the livers through, but I’ve never killed anyone yet! Just sear the livers in a really hot pan. They will go grainy if
you overcook them. I use clarified butter on the pan. It burns less easily than regular butter. Always add butter to the hot pan, instead of heating the pan and the butter together — otherwise
the butter will split. The most important part of the recipe is the deglazing of the pan, with a reduction of red onions, garlic, fresh thyme and brandy. This goes into the pan after the livers come out, and you add some cream to it before putting everything in the blender, where you blitz it to
a thick, glossy texture with a ruby-red colour. Don’t be scared of the colour; the livers will continue to cook with the heat from the other ingredients and the heat
from the blender. Then you slowly add more melted clarified butter. Set the blender at a low speed and add it gradually, as you
would when you’re making mayonnaise. Too much liquid at once will make it separate. Going slowly allows the livers to absorb the liquid and makes a velvety pate. Then pass it through a sieve and check the seasoning.
Because you are serving it cold, it will take more seasoning. So if you can barely taste the seasoning when
the pate is warm, add a bit more. Carren Simpson is head chef at The Garden House cafe, Back Road, Malahide, Co Dublin, tel: (01) 531-2020, or see thegardenhouse.ie
In conversation with Sarah Caden
250g (9oz) clarified butter 1 medium red onion, chopped 2 cloves of garlic, chopped Handful of thyme leaves 100ml (3 fl oz) brandy 600g (1 lbs) chicken livers Salt and freshly ground black pepper 300ml (10fl oz) double cream