Liver is one of the most nutrient dense foods we can include on a regular basis in our healthy diets, but many people have icky feelings about liver … they’ve either had bad experiences with it being cooked badly, or they think it’s toxic because it processes toxins in the body of the animal that housed it. It can be a texture issue as well.
Organ meats used to be prized and their nutritional value understood well. They contain protein and vitamins and minerals with high bioavailability. Sadly, they have become “yuck” triggers and feel intimidating to home cooks.
I prefer to get all my animal products from healthy animals, and it’s no different when it comes to organ meats. Liver filters and detoxifies the blood, packages up toxins so they can be removed from the body, and metabolises fats, proteins and carbs. I feel better about eating animals that didn’t have to battle against the odds and lived a natural and safe existence before they became sustenance for me and my family.
Chicken liver pate is a great way to step gingerly back towards eating liver in a healthy and easy recipe.
Kimmi’s Chicken Liver Pate
4 tablespoons of ghee or butter
500g (1/2 pound) trimmed chicken livers (you can soak them for 24 hours in milk or cream and then rinse in cold water to tone down the flavour if you like)
100g (3.5oz) speck or bacon (rind removed), roughly chopped
½ small onion, diced
2 small garlic cloves, crushed
½ teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon of salt
½ cup water
200g (7oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Freshly ground black pepper
Warm the ghee or butter in a medium sized frypan.
Add the livers, speck or bacon, onion, garlic, and thyme, and half a teaspoon of salt.
Stir for a few minutes over a moderate heat.
Add the water, cover the pan and cook over a low heat until the liver is barely pink in the center when tested – this may take about 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat (leaving the lid on) and allow to stand for 5 minutes.
Drain the fluid from the pan and transfer the mixture to a food processor.
Process until the mixture resembles crumbs.
Add the butter with the motor on – one teaspoon at a time – until it is all incorporated and smooth.
Pass the mixture through a fine sieve for an extra smooth pate.
Season with the other half teaspoon of salt and the pepper.
Scrape the pate into a suitably sized container (or several smaller containers), and cover with a small amount of melted butter to protect the surface from browning.
Serve with chilled and thinly sliced celery or radishes.