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21 November 2009

Lavender Chicken Liver Parfait

Chicken Liver Pate

There are many ways to make a chicken liver parfait, the following recipe is my preferred method. It’s easy, uses only a few ingredients, is fairly quick to knock up and yields silky smooth results.

So, what is the difference between a chicken liver pate and a chicken liver parfait?

Chicken Liver Pate

A chicken liver pate becomes a chicken liver parfait (French for perfect) when the cooked liver mixture is pushed through a sieve to remove any sinewy bits, resulting in a silkier, smoother and luscious liver parfait!

Chicken Liver Pate

I decided to add lavender as I absolutely love cooking with this dreamy herb. The problem with lavender though, is it can get a bit of a bad rep if overused as it can be overpowering and ends up making the dish taste like perfume or even worse medicine!

So, I really do suggest you use it sparingly and remember to let it play a supporting role. Great substitutes for lavender are rosemary or thyme.

Lavender Chicken Liver Parfait
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 400g chicken liver, cleaned
  • 100g butter, melted +80g melted to finish off & a generous tablespoon for sauteing
  • 50ml double cream
  • 2-3 shallots- thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove- smashed & roughly diced
  • 50ml Madeira
  • 50ml brandy
  • 50ml port wine
  • 1 tablespoon of lavender buds-pesticide free or culinary grade + a tiny bit more for sealing
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 4 ramekins

Instructions
  1. Begin by rinsing the liver well in cold water and removing any sinews, then pat dry.
  2. Bruise the lavender buds (excluding the ones for sealing) in a mortar and pestle.
  3. Melt the butter and then add the shallots, sauteing till translucent about 3-4 minutes until soft.
  4. Then add the garlic, the bay leaf & the bruised lavender and sautee for another 1 minute, stirring well.
  5. Now, add the brandy, let it reduce about 1 minute, then add the Madeira and port and allow to reduce further about 1-2 minutes.
  6. Next, add the chicken livers, nutmeg, salt and pepper and stir well cooking for another 4-5 minutes.
  7. Set aside the mixture for about 5 minutes, so it cools slightly. Then transfer to a blender and blitz it till it’s a pate.
  8. Add the melted butter. Oh, how I love butter! It’s the color of the vibrant sun- I don’t get much of that here- great substitute! Blitz it, until the butter is well incorporated
  9. Now, add the mixture to a sieve and using a ladle or a spoon, push the mixture through the sieve. This will take about 5 minutes. It’s quite laborious and is great for building Jeniffer Aniston arms. Alright, who am I kidding!
  10. Discard the sinewy bits that remained in the sieve. Now, take the smooth mixture that has passed through the sieve and add to it the double cream. If you wish to use butter instead of cream that is also fine. Remember it might seem a bit runny at this point, but this will set in the fridge.
  11. Spoon the mixture out into ramekins- leaving a bit of room to seal it with butter.
  12. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and about 4-5 lavender buds each- not too much as the taste can be overpowering.
  13. Now, drizzle over the melted butter. It will turn out about a tablespoon and a half per ramekin.
  14. Set it in the fridge for at least two hours or overnight.

 

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17 thoughts on “Lavender Chicken Liver Parfait

  1. If this was on a restaurant menu I would definitely try it. I did Nigella Lawson’s St Tropez Chicken which comes with lavender and honey so I know lavender can go with meat. I’ve not made pate or parfait but have made it look very straightforward and I must try it sometime.

  2. Oh Beth this is the good stuff! living in Germany I have come to love Leberwurst! and this is the elegant version LOL! I think I will bookmark it this could become a part of my X-Mas dinner! Hugs!

    Oh did i mention 6 DAYS!!!

  3. wow can’t believe you can actually make this stuff at home, now I thought I was a good cook but you left me in the dust with this post 🙂 i just love it!

  4. I love chopped chicken livers (my dad’s way) and I love this type of smooth chicken liver mousse with all the flavors you add. Beautiful. I so want to make this but I’d be eating spoonfuls of it all day…

  5. Such a delicious appetizer, something to nibble with toast points while sipping a spot of fine wine…sitting here in the States, I’m thinking this is perfect for Thanksgiving next week!

  6. Thanks for explaining the difference. While I knew that passing it through a sieve would make the texture smoother, creamier I did not realize that it would be categorized differently.

  7. I love making chicken liver pate but always run out of energy at the thought of pushing it throught a straw (maybe for Jennifer Aniston arms I would…!). Love the addition of lavender – you are right though – if it’s overdone the entire dish tastes lke a bottle of perfume! Love the far more subtle addition to your parfait.

  8. I’m looking forward to making this for holiday gifts!! But one question!! I went through it a couple times but I can’t see where you add the nutmeg that’s in your ingredient list! Please help before I blow this recipe!!! Thanks.

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