Ok, I know what you’re thinking… chicken liver… eww!
It sounds like what people in medieval times were eating… which is actually true! Interestingly in 1788 there was a land trade made between the Governor of Alsace, Maréchal de Contades, and the King of France, Louis XVI, and the currency used was… pâté de foie gras (goose or duck liver pâté)! So yes, it has been around longer than you might think…
Traditionally pâté is a mix of liver cooked with a combination of vegetables, herbs, and spices and may include selected wine or alcohol. These ingredients are then minced or puréed into a smooth meat spread usually served cold on bread of your choice, crackers, or crostini and sometimes, I say sometimes, people put a dollop of mustard or honey on top. Pâté should not be confused with foie gras made from the livers of fattened geese or ducks which is cooked and sliced but not made into a spread.
Making pâté may sound complicated but is actually quite easy. The ingredient list is short, it doesn’t take long to prepare and most importantly, you can choose what goes into it. With this recipe you can adapt the taste to your liking and choose to add wine, brandy or cognac for a rich, luxurious flavor.
Delicious, creamy, decadent and simple to prepare, pâté is not only tasty but highly nutritious and packed full of an array of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Liver has a high concentration of Vitamin A and just 1–2 ounces will provide 100% of your recommended daily intake. Vitamin A maintains healthy eyesight and blood pressure and also plays a vital role in bone growth plus reproductive and immune system health. Vitamin B12 is plentiful in liver and an important component of red blood cell & DNA synthesis.
Pâté is also full of several minerals. Just to name a few… Calcium aids in building and maintaining strong bones. Iron plays a strong roll in production of red blood cells and hemoglobin and also promotes muscle strength and reduces fatigue. Magnesium is important for regulating blood sugar and pressure. Zinc, boosts your immune system.
This nutritious inexpensive dish, served as an appetizer, will surely impress your guests at your next dinner party. Don’t hesitate to give this a try sometime soon.
- 1 lb. chicken liver, well-trimmed, rinsed and patted dry
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 3/4 cup red onion, finely chopped (substitute shallots)
- 2 large cloves garlic, pressed
- 1/4 tsp. marjoram
- 1/4 tsp. thyme
- 1/4 tsp. sage
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste (I always use mixed peppercorns)
- 3 tbsp. Cognac (sunbstitute Brandy)
- 1/2 (4 oz.) package light cream cheese, softened
- 2-3 dashes hot sauce, or more to taste
- 1/2 tsp. chives, chopped