Sometimes you just try something out in the kitchen and it turns out to be much, much better than you expected. That’s what I love about cooking and that’s what happend when I tried this recipe the first time! In this article you will get a delicious way to get in one of the most underrated foods on the planet and make good use of your sourdough starter that is (hopefully) bubbling away at your kitchen counter.
Chicken liver and liver in general is probably one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, just most people shy away from it. And to be honest: I wasn’t a big fan of it too until relatively recently, despite the fact that eating innards has a rich tradition in Austria. But I am sure that this recipe will convert even the firmest liver-hater into a fan. Somehow the “livery” taste vanishes into a creamy, rich flavour. Delicious!
While our pate is cooling in the fridge, we have plenty of time to bake this totally healthy flatbread using a sourdough starter. If you don’t have sourdough at home, read this article and start your own right now, it will pay off big times! I developed this flatbread because I didn’t want to bake an entire loaf of bread. I just wanted something to go with the pate, something small that doesn’t require extra time to proof or a lot of time to bake.
Chicken Liver Pate
This makes a relatively large batch, so feel free to downscale the recipe according to your needs. Keep in mind that the pate will stay up to a week in your fridge, so don’t overdo it with the down-scaling 😉 . You can also fill the pate into smaller containers and put them in the freezer until you need them. You will need:
- 1kg Chicken liver
- 1-2 onions
- 1-2 apples depending on size and personal preferance
- 200g lard, drippings or butter
- 5 dried figs or a similar amount of dried fruits
- a BIG splash of brandy/sherry/calvados/cognac
- 100g additional butter to finish it
Melt the lard in a big roasting pan or tray. Chop up the onions and apples into rough pieces (they get blended anyways later) and fry them until they develop some colour.
Add the whole chicken livers and fry them but don’t overcook them, they have to stay pink in the middle. Deglace with the brandy and add the chopped, dried figs. Leave to cook until the livers are done and season boldly with salt, pepper, nutmeg and other spices like ground cloves, allspice, sage or thyme. It’s up to you!
Now it’s time to make the pate. You can do it in the blender, but I decided to use the immersion blender to make a fine mousse. Try your mousse, season again if needed. Remember that you will eat the pate cold, therefore it has to be slightly overseasoned to be just perfect when served cold. Add the cold butter and blend again until the butter has dissolved and your pate is shiny.
Transfer the pate into a container and let it cool off just enough so you can put it into the fridge. While the pate is chilling in the fridge, you have plenty of time to make the flatbread.
Start by feeding your sourdough a generous amount of flour. Add water until your starter has a nice, thick pancakey consistency. If you want to, you can leave it covered for an hour or two to start the fermentation again, giving a better rise, but it’s not required.
Preheat your oven to 230°C. While you are waiting for your oven to reach temperature, take an oven-proof pan, add some oil/fat/lard over medium heat. Pour your sourdough batter straight into the hot pan until it is completely covered with batter. Season your bread by sprinkling with salt and spices like caraway. Leave it on medium heat until your oven is ready.
Transfer your pan into the oven and leave to bake for 30 minutes. It won’t develop a crust like a real sourdough bread, but it will resemble focaccia when done. Take it out of the oven and let it cool down slowly in the pan.
Grab your cold chicken liver pate and your warm flat bread and dig in. I can’t think of a better way to eat liver than this!
As you can see, both recipes leave plenty of room for experimentation! You could use different fresh and dried fruits for the pate. Maybe you want to try a more robust version with pork or beef liver? Also the seasoning and type of alcohol you choose can change flavour completely.
I used spelt flour for this flat bread, but you can use whatever you have at home at the moment. With olive oil and rosemary you could turn it into a fake-focaccia easily. Or you could use butter/ghee and cumin seeds for an indian touch. Just try something new and let me know in the comments how you liked it!