Saturday, January 28, 2012

Chicken Liver Pate with Chanterelles & Cognac

Chicken Liver Pate with Chanterelles and Cognac
OK – so there is not much low calorie in this recipe – but it does provide some nutritional bonus – high in protein!  Sometimes, you just have to have something very special to kick off that over-the-top dinner.  It is also great when you have a large number of people over for a football game.  Very versatile!

For an inexpensive variation on foie gras – try the chicken livers. I know – they are one of those foods that either incite “Ew, gross!” or “Oh, yeah!” – whatever you do – give them a try and convert to the “Oh wow!” camp. They are especially exquisite when they are pureed into a silky, buttery spread. It is a rich dose of umami spread onto grilled country bread or you favorite crackers – or your finger! This silky-smooth pate is inexpensive and simple to make.  The addition of chanterelle mushrooms and cognac push it over-the-top in flavor and pizzazz. If chanterelles were unavailable, crimini mushrooms would be the best substitute.

Melt 2 Tb butter in a large sauté pan, add 1 lb. chanterelle mushrooms, which have been gently wiped, cleaned and thinly sliced. Sauté until tender and beginning to brown and all juices have evaporated, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside.
Sauteed mushroom slices
Melt 4 Tb butter in another skillet over med-high heat.  Add 4 chopped whole green onions and 4 chopped white part only green onions.  Sauté 2 minutes.  Add 1½ pound chicken livers, which have been cleaned and dried.  Stir to coat. Cover and cook until livers are no longer pink in center, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add ½ C dry white wine, 2½ tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp dry mustard, ½ tsp grated nutmeg, ¼ tsp ground cloves.  Simmer uncovered about 1 minute.
Cooking the livers...doesn't look so good yet!
Using slotted spoon, transfer livers to a food processor. Puree 30 seconds. Gradually add wine mixture from skillet; puree until smooth.  Add one 8-ounce package of cream cheese, cut into one-inch pieces, at room temperature, ¼ C Cognac or Brandy, ½ C butter and all but 1/3 C mushrooms.  Puree until blended.
Pureed and looking better!
Transfer pate to serving dish.  Arrange reserved 1/3 C mushrooms on top of the pate. Cover and chill at least 1 day and up to 2 days.  Serve with baguette slices or your favorite crackers.

Once again, I love this appetizer with champagne. Seems everything is great with champagne! However, it is equally spectacular with a variety of red wines: Syrah, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and of course, more Cognac!


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