Chicken liver pate with red wine jelly will be the star at your next Wine & Cheese or Wine & Tapas party. It is a French classic and just as it is classy, but the best part about it is that it is easy to make, can be prepared in advance and it freezes quite well. This recipe call for 700g of liver (because that is the standard pack available in my supermarket) which allows me to make enough and freeze some of the pate which is great thing to have handy when hosting an sunday brunch or a casual evening get together.
I am a Cabernet Sauvignon lover and naturally this is my choice for the wine used in the jelly. Ultimately you would be the happiest using the wine that you like best, you should however be monitoring the sweetness of the wine. If you are using a sweeter wine, decrease the amount of sugar you add, if you decide to go with Port decrease the sugar by half.
While I was developing this recipe my hubby and I had a couple of midweek recipe testing wine and pate night and I actually served the pate as the centerpiece along with cheese and salads…
700g of chicken liver
2 medium onions diced
4 Tbs of duck fat (or unsalted butter)
85g unsalted butter at room temperature
2 eggs lightly beaten
2 tsp white wine vinegar (red is fine too)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp fry sage
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp of Cognac
For the jelly:
1/2 cup red wine
1 Tbs sugar
2 tsp granulated gelatin
4 Tbs water
Make the chicken liver pate: Wash well and drain the livers, needless to say they must be very fresh. In a large nonstick pan heat the duck fat on medium, add the onions and the bay leave and cook for about 3 min. Add the liver, the salt and the dry sage, put on the lid and let simmer on medium low heat for about 15 min stirring occasionally. The livers will release some liquid and cook in their own juice. When the livers are cooked through, with no blood visible, add the lightly beaten eggs, stir well and cook for another 2 minutes until the sauce in the pan thickens. Add the butter, the black pepper and the vinegar and the cognac, mix to combine and quickly transfer the contents of the pan to the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Divide the pate between 3 large ramekins or if you are having many guest over, transfer into a terrine dish, cover with cling paper pressing it directly onto the pate and refrigerate for at least 5 hours of overnight.
Make the jelly: Put the gelatin and water in a bowl, stir and let it soften. In the meantime, Combine the wine and sugar in a small saucepan and heat on low fire until hot but not boiling. Pour the wine over the gelatin and strip until it dissolves completely. Let cool.
Assemble and serve: Remove the cling paper and gently smooth the surface of the pate making sure there are no gaps to ensure a perfect finish. Pour the jelly cooled jelly over the pate and refrigerate for abut 1 hour or until set. Decorate with some fresh thy,e and a pinch of sea salt and serve with crusty bread.
Note: The jelly is enough to cover 3 large ramekins or a larger terrine dish. If However you decide to freeze 2 of the ramekins you can half the recipe for the jelly and use it only for the part you will be serving the same day. When you are ready to use the frozen pate, simply thaw it in the fridge for a couple of hours and then add the jelly.
The pate will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days and in the freezer for up to 8 weeks.
Wine suggestions: Serve with the wine of choice used for the jelly or Beaujolais Crus or full bodied New World Chardonnays.