This year for the first time in at least 8 years we went out on New Year’s Eve.
For years I used to take it in turns with a group of university friends to hold some sort of New Year’s Eve gathering. Then I moved house out of the area and we all had children and things became harder to arrange. Since the arrival of my younger daughter 8yrs ago we have had a mixture of spending the evening on our own of with my mum and dad. We have been known to have a meal for two and fall asleep on the sofa before midnight arrives.
My two girls are now old enough to enjoy a party and cope with a late night and this year we were lucky to be invited to a local friend’s house for some food and a few drinks. We all have children of a similar age so it suits everyone.
To make things easy for our hosts we all brought some food. My course was the starter or appetiser. So, yesterday afternoon I got to work with a few easy canapes type recipes, one of which was homemade Chicken Liver Pate. I first tried this chicken liver pate recipe a number of years ago when my mum and dad were coming for Christmas or New Year. We all enjoyed it so much it has become a Christmas time tradition.
Making The Chicken Liver Pate
I found the recipe in a book of short cut recipes by Gary Rhodes. The original recipe was to serve 4 people but as the fresh chicken livers always seem to come in a 400g pack I just increase the other ingredients to suit.
For the pate you will need:
400g Chicken Livers
180g Butter (softened)
2 Large Shallots (finely chopped)
2 Garlic Cloves (crushed)
2½ tbsp Brandy (optional)
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper for seasoning
The chicken livers have some sinews running through them so I remove these, I’m not over thorough but I remove the bulk. The livers are quite soft so the sinews pull out with the help of a knife. Once you have done this season with some salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Melt a knob of the butter in a medium sized frying pan and soften the chopped shallot and crushed garlic for 2-3 minutes. Now added your seasoned livers and fry on a medium high heat for 2-3 minutes both sides. They should be firm but still pink in the middle. My husband loves chicken livers so if he is about I let him have a taste to confirm they are cooked properly.
Allow the onion and livers to cool, if you are in a hurry remove from the pan.
In a food processor blitz the livers until smooth, add the remaining butter and brandy and blitz again until combined. Place the chicken liver pate mixture into a bowl or mould, cover with cling film and place in the fridge to chill and firm up.
After a couple of hours in the fridge the chicken liver pate should be firm enough to slice and spread onto the toast slices. Serve as it is or with a garnish of sliced/chopped tomato.
If I am making this at home for a starter for a smallish gathering I would make my own melba toast but as this was finger food for 20 I bought some pre-prepared Melba toast slices instead.