Monday, April 13, 2009

Two birds, one stone: Part 1

I did actually make something I've never made before LAST weekend (that would have been the weekend of the 3rd). I made souffle. And then I lost my memory card. Why THAT memory card? And where the hell is it? I don't know, but I have gotten mad about it every hour or so for the past week. So I am declaring myself over it, and will be happy when I find it 10 years from now when we move out of our house.

To make up for it, I made TWO things I've never made before this past weekend). Rabbit and Chicken livers. I figured if I made them together it wouldn't count, so I made two separate dishes. Rabbit ragout and chicken liver pate. Today we'll focus on the Pate.

To see the original recipe on google books go here

I love pate, and Kassie declared her deep love for chicken livers on twitter, so in honor of you Kassie:

Chicken Liver Spread
(adapted from Fat: An appreciation of a misunderstood ingredient, with recipes)

1 lb chicken livers
6-8 tbsp chicken fat (substitute duck fat if desired... or butter if you can't get your hands on either)
1 spring marjoram
sea salt and black pepper
2 1/2 tbsp brandy
pinch of ground nutmeg

This has to be one of the cheapest sources of animal protein in the world. The pound of chicken livers I purchased came to under $2 at the wedge

Separate the livers into lobes of equal size and cut away any green discoloration (ew, didn't see any of that "discoloration... and am glad for that fact). Remove the connecting threads and any large bits of blood (I did have a few of those) and pat them dry

In a large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of chicken fat over high heat (I used butter, I tried to find duck fat and Surdyk's was out... fat is fat though right?). When hot, add the livers and marjoram, season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook until the livers are just pink in the middle, about 3 minutes per side.

Experiments in cooking volume III

Tip the livers and juices into a bowl and discard the marjoram. Return the pan to heat and add 2 tbsp of brandy deglazing the pan. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits and pour the deglazing liquid into the bowl with the livers. Cool slightly.

Experiments in cooking volume III

This next part I didn't take pictures of, for two reasons

1) My food mill requires muscles and attention and I didn't have an extra hand to take a picture
2) It was not a pretty sight

Press the livers through a food mill or medium-mesh sieve to remove the sinew. Add remaining chicken fat to make a soft paste (again, I used butter). Add the nutmeg and remaining brandy if (obviously!) desired.

Experiments in cooking volume III
Pack into a small dish and refrigerate.

Experiments in cooking volume III


Kassie said...

That looks great. I've never used a food mill for pate, but what a great idea. Next time I will.

De Nueva said...

Foodie. Also, Alex wants to know where you caught your rabbit. :-)

Kate said...

I caught my rabbit in a little meadow south of downtown called the wedge. Rabbit tastes a whole lot like chicken, it's just more expensive and needs to be cooked longer.