This week I've chosen a Gordon Ramsay recipe for chicken liver pâté and it sounds more complicated than it really is. The recipe is from Gordon Ramsay's Great British Pub Food. It's clearly fairly old as Mark Sargeant's name is also on the cover, so I presume they were still talking at the time! It does contain a lot of pub classics and I've used this book for a couple of recipes including a pie, but it doesn't get that many outings.
Gordon says they call this "poor man's pâté" but while the ingredients are inexpensive it creates an elegant starter and covered with clarified butter will keep in the fridge for up to a week. He suggests serving it with a red onion marmalade, oh well perhaps I'll make some of that another week!
The ingredients for this recipe are chicken livers (obviously), milk, shallots and butter plus a splash of brandy. It isn't a speedy recipe as the chicken livers need to soak in the milk for 6-8 hours - I presume this tenderises them. Mine were actually soaking for longer than this as I ran out of time to make them and made them the next day instead.
It's not a recipe for the squeamish either as the next step is to drain the chicken livers then rinse and dry them with kitchen paper. Once you can take no more of this, melt some of the butter in a frying pan and sauté the finely diced shallots until they're soft, but not coloured. Next it's in with the chicken livers and fry these until they are evenly browned but still pink inside - some guesswork's involved there! Then it's the fun bit - adding the brandy and flambé-ing! As I've an induction hob for me I flambéd with the help of a match and the extractor fan on full!
Once the flames had died down I added some more butter and let it melt before putting everything into a blender and pressed go until I thought it would be smooth enough, and then blended it some more, just to be sure. Gordon says if you want it really smooth then you can pass it through a fine sieve. While I did this with my blackberry jam to get rid of the pips - see 52 Cookbooks #38: Spiced blackberry jam - I didn't think it necessary for this pâté and quickly filed that part of the recipe as "a faff too far!"
I spooned my blitzed pâté into four ramekins/lunch box servings and set about clarifying some butter. I'd not done this before but knew it was about removing the milky whey bits. The recipe says to slowly melt the butter in a saucepan, well I thought I'd try the microwave. I hadn't worked out how to separate the butter though and ended up spooning the golden liquid onto the top of the pâté. It didn't turn out too bad though.
After an hour or so in the fridge they looked like proper chicken liver pâtés!
- this was a relatively easy, but long-winded recipe at the start.
- it tasted fab and looked very impressive (to me)
- I probably needed a bit more clarified butter to completely cover and seal the dishes.
- as for keeping up to a week - no chance!