Chicken liver pâté

Starter: serves 10. Total time: 2 hours
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Indy Lifestyle Online

I reckon I must have been all of 10 years old when I tasted a smearing of chicken liver pâté on buttered toast for the first time.

I reckon I must have been all of 10 years old when I tasted a smearing of chicken liver pâté on buttered toast for the first time. My dad had made some in a white pudding basin (it was the first time for him, too), cooked it to a perfect pink within, sealed the result by means of a yellow disk of melted butter with a single bay leaf poking through, as if to emphasise its culinary authenticity, together with his integrity over the recipe he had so scrupulously followed.

The following recipe for chicken liver pâté may not be quite the same as the one that Dad used, but the spirit in the process of making it was passed on to me long ago.



12-15 rashers of thinly sliced streaky bacon
300g chicken livers, finely minced
200g fresh pork back fat, also finely minced
50g butter
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2tbsp of fresh white breadcrumbs
2tbsp freshly chopped parsley
1tsp Maldon sea salt
1/2tsp freshly ground white pepper



A rectangular, loaf-shaped tin or dish of between 750ml-1 litre capacity (and preferably one that also has a lid) is about the right size and shape for cooking this simple pâté.

Preheat oven to 300°F/ 150°C/Gas mark 2. Line the terrine with the f bacon by placing 2 rashers end to end in the base of the dish and allowing them to come up the sides and flop out over the rim of the dish. Continue placing rashers in this manner along the length of the dish.

Thoroughly mix together all the other ingredients, pour into the bacon-lined dish and neatly fold over the bacon to fully enclose. Lay a buttered sheet of foil over the surface, lightly press down and then crimp around the edges to seal. Place in a deep roasting dish and fill with hot water so that it comes two-thirds of the way up the sides of the terrine dish. Place in the oven and cook for 11/2 hours. Take out and carefully lift off the foil.

When the pâté is cooked, remove from the water bath and allow to cool and rest for 10 minutes. Now place the terrine on a tray and take a piece of wood or heavy cardboard shaped to fit the opening of the terrine dish and wrap it first in cling film, then foil. Place on top of the pâté and weight down with a few tins (juices will run out and over the dish into the tray, but don't worry, as these can be poured back into the dish later). Keep weighed down for at least an hour, pour back those juices and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before eating. This pâté will keep fresh and good (well covered), for about five or six days.

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