I’m not gonna lie – I’m in a bit of a rush this morning.
We’re going camping for the first time this season today and I have yet to go through the gear, sort out what we need to buy for the weekend, prep the food – because let’s be honest, I may be camping, but I’m gonna be eatin’ good! – pack the car, and get by tail to the campsite ASAP so I can set up a tent, start a fire, and crack a beer. Because what else is camping all about besides nature, tents, and booze?
Ack! So yes – I did not plan my week well with respect to the coming camping trip and as a result of such laziness, I am a wee bit frazzled right now. But I still wanted to check in and give ya’ a little somethin’ somethin’.
This is a dish that I just adore with all my heart soul. It’s not for everyone and that’s fair – but there’s just something about it’s richness, decadence, flavour and general amazingness that makes my little mouth happy. Plus it always seems super fancy but in truth, it’s wicked simple and surprisingly cheap to make. I’m talking, of course, about chicken liver pate. Ow ow!
I grew up eating liver. Dad used to make it for dinner when Mom was working late. And I bloody well loved it. Mind you, he did serve it with peas and kraft dinner (no hard feelings dad – I’m sure it was much better for us 15 years ago than it is now), but never mind. It’s just so good. And tasty. And potentially spreadable. And beautiful… And so are you.
So the next time someone says to you, “what am I? Chopped liver?”…. You say yes. Yes. I. Am.
When making a chicken liver pate, be sure to find a local, ethical producer of chickens (or whatever kind of liver you plan on using) to make sure the animals are treated with dignity through their lives. Some animals that are raised for their livers (i.e. geese) are often violently force-fed until they are sick and bleeding. So please, if you can, try to find happy livers. If you live on Vancouver Island, Terra Nossa Farm is friggin excellent.
45g of butter, room temperature + 60g of butter, melted
1/2 large sweet onion, peeled & diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled & chopped
250g pastured chicken livers
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme + 2 sprigs
1 bay leaf
½ C brandy
1 Tsp red wine vinegar
Coarse sea salt & fresh cracked black pepper
For serving: Toasted baguette
Ingredients for the Balsamicy Onions:
2 large onions, peeled & sliced
1 C good quality balsamic vinegar
2 Tsp salt
Extra virgin olive oil
Melt the room temperature butter in a large non-stick frying pan over medium low heat. When it starts to sizzle, add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent.
Add the chicken livers, chopped thyme and bay leaf and cook for approx 5-7 minutes or until livers are cooked through but not developing colour on them.
Pour in the brandy and red wine vinegar and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf.
Spoon the lot into a food processor and puree until smooth.Pour into ramekins or short mason jars and top with the melted butter to prevent oxidization. Gently garnish the tops with the remaining thyme sprigs and/or even a few whole peppercorns. Allow to sit for the butter to harden.
Serve or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the balsamicy onions, wipe out the large skillet you just used for the pate and heat a couple glugs of extra virgin olive oil over medium low heat.
When hot, add the onions and salt, stir well to coat. Allow the onions to slowly cook for about 25 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the balsamic vinegar and allow to reduce until it's thick and coats the onions but not burning in the pan, approx. 25 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let cool.
Serve with the brandy laced chicken liver pate, toasted baguette and even some sliced pears!
If you’re into really good food cooked from scratch with fresh ingredients, drinks with a little somethin’ somethin’ and enjoying what you put in your mouth, this book is for you.
Julia Child famously commented, "I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food . . . ” Kristy Gardner has taken this idea to the next level in Cooking with Cocktails. Every recipe is touched with alcohol; the result is a punchy visual adventure with roots in Italian and French cuisine that demands enjoying meals with passion, with friends, and with alcohol.
Join the celebration of the very best that life has to offer—good friends, good food, good drink and great stories —with humor, delicious and inventive
recipes, and mouth-watering photographs for each and every dish!
Hey, I'm Kristy. I'm a writer, photographer, actress, and general badass (who goes to bed at 8:30pm) in Vancouver, BC. I've written & photographed with Edible Communities, The Taste Canada Food Writing Awards, and CountryMan Press and have presented at The Food Blogger’s Online Summit. My book, Cooking With Cocktails, is avaiable at all major retailers! When I'm not online, I'm indulging in seasonal cocktails, carbs, bad ’80s films, hiking, camping, bourbon, and pigs.