Last week, at the Farmer’s Market, Ray Bradley had packages of fresh chicken livers. Chicken livers are a wonderful thing that we only indulge in when they come from a good source – these guys didn’t even know they were dead yet. Memories of Savannah’s Upscale PB&J popped into my head, when I saw the mounds of fresh spring cherries. The Peasant asked me to recreate that dinner and the complete dish began to take shape.
Here is what you need.
Chicken Liver Paté:
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup diced shallots
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon thyme, finely chopped
1 tablespoon marjoram, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 pound cleaned chicken livers
2 tablespoons good brown liquer (such as good rum or burbon)
1 tablespoon dry vermouth
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
In a large pan melt the butter over low heat add the shallots and garlic and cook over low heat until they are translucent. Add the herbs and the allspice, stirring until fragrant. Add the chicken livers in a single layer. Increase the heat and cook until the livers have only a bit of pink at the center. Add the liquor and vermouth and remove from the heat. While hot, transfer the contents of the pan to a food processor and puree until smooth adding the olive oil in a thin stream through the top of your processor. The livers should be pureed to a smooth paste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Smooth the contents into a glass dish and refrigerate.
1/2 stick butter
2 cups fresh pitted cherries
2 tablespoons orange liqueur (such as Cointreau, an excuse to be ready for margarita season)
1 tablespoon dry vermouth
1/8 cup water
Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Add the remaining ingredients and cook over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until the cherries are very soft and liquid has reduced by half. Mash some of the cherries with a fork and reduce again, until the sauce is fairly thick then remove from heat. Allow to cool.
When cool, pour the cherry sauce over the paté, making sure that the paté is completely covered. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
Spread the paté on pieces of good crusty bread, like ciabatta or brioche. Sprinkle with sea salt and think of Julia Child. We enjoyed ours with simple salad and vinaigrette dressing and a light red wine. Left overs should be covered tightly by pressing plastic wrap on to the surface of the paté to prevent discoloration. If the cherries change your paté strange colors, don’t freak out. Its just cosmetic. Wrapped tightly, paté lasts for about 2 weeks in the fridge.