Chicken liver & raisin pâté
This delicious, unashamedly rich starter is the sort of dish that makes entertaining stress-free, as it can be made up to three days ahead
Plus soaking, cooling and overnight chilling
- Serves 6
- More effort
Nutrition per serving
- 60g large blonde raisins, plus a few extra to garnish
- 2-3 tbsp brandy
- 100ml white wine
- 100ml port
- 4 shallots, finely sliced
- 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
- 200g butter
- 200g chicken livers, all traces of sinew removed
- 2 medium eggs, beaten
- 25g pistachios or hazelnuts, finely sliced, plus extra to garnish
- 50g melted clarified butter (see tip, below)
- slices toasted walnut bread
- salad leaves, dressed with walnut oil and wine vinegar
To clarify butter, warm it gently in a small pan. The white milk solids will sink to the bottom, then you can carefully pour off the clear, clarified butter.
A day ahead, put the raisins in a small bowl, pour over enough brandy to cover, then leave to soak for 1 hr. Pour the wine and port into a small, deep saucepan, tip in the shallots and garlic, then simmer until reduced by two-thirds – about 10 mins. Remove from the heat and pass through a fine sieve, pressing to extract all the juices. Allow to cool. Melt the 200g butter, then leave to cool slightly.
In a food processor, blend the chicken livers until smooth, then add the wine reduction followed by the eggs, the cooled melted butter, 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp black pepper. Pass through a fine sieve into a jug, stir in the nuts, then set aside. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.
Drain the raisins, then divide them between 6 x 125ml ramekins. Pour the chicken liver mixture over, leaving a small space at the top of each one. Stand the ramekins in a small roasting tin (or similar ovenproof dish with sides to make a bain-marie) then pour in enough hot water to reach two-thirds of the way up the sides. Cover with foil and bake for 35-40 mins. To check when cooked, push a fine knife blade into the centre and, if it comes out hot and clean, the pâté is ready. If not, continue to cook, but don’t overcook or let them soufflé up or the texture of the pâté will be grainy.
Remove from the bain-marie, then pour a thin layer of clarified butter over each dish to seal. Scatter over a few extra raisins and pistachios to garnish as the butter is setting. Leave to cool, then refrigerate for up to 3 days.
To serve, put each ramekin on a plate with toasted walnut bread and a few dressed salad leaves.