Two years ago I hosted an Apple Dinner: all items on the menu had some kind of version of apples in them. There were cheese and charcuterie platters served with homemade apple jam, apple-onion chutney, and dehydrated apples. There was pull-apart apple and cheddar bread, cider braised beef short ribs, apple cake, apple ice cream. And, of course, lots of fresh apples. I spent weeks scouring all corners of the Internet looking for the recipes, testing, experimenting. The dinner was a success. So much so that a day after the apple extravaganza I started planning another ingredient based event.
One of the items on the charcuterie platter was homemade Chicken Liver Pâté with Apples. I have not made pâté before, so I eagerly decided to try. I was surprised how easy it was - sauté liver with some onions and apples, whizz quickly in a food processor with some cream and voila - only a few minutes of hands-on cooking and the whole fancy appetizer is done in less than half an hour.
The addition of apple is almost undetectable, but it gives the pâté a slightly sweet and mellow note. Thyme and vermouth (if using) add an herby and savoury undertone, while cream adds a much needed lightness. This pâté will last for up to a week in the fridge if the top is covered with plastic wrap. It's a great appetizer to make ahead and to serve as part of a buffet table or first course.
Chicken Liver Pâté with Apple and Thyme
makes 2 cups
Butter - 2 tablespoons
Olive oil - 1 tablespoon
Onion, diced - 1 medium
Thyme - 2 sprigs
Apple, granny smith, peeled and chopped - 1 large
Chicken livers - 450-500 g
Vermouth - 1/4 cup (optional)
Cream, half and half - 1/4 cup
Salt - to taste
- In a large pan, heat one tablespoon of butter and olive oil, add diced onion and cook on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes until onions are soft and slightly brown.
- Add thyme leaves, chicken livers, and diced apples. Cook on medium heat until liver is cooked through but not tough yet. My stove takes longer than most, so it took about 20-25 minutes for me.
- Once the livers are just cooked, add the second tablespoon of butter and vermouth (if using). Cook until vermouth evaporates and butter is melted, about 1-2 minutes.
- Scrape everything from the pan into a food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds until pâté is smooth.
- Check for seasoning, add salt as needed. Add cream and pulse a bit more until pâté is light and airy.
- Place plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pâté for storing. Will last up to one week in the fridge.