Old-school chicken liver parfait

Chicken Liver Parfait

Serves 6

  • 300 g butter, softened

  • olive oil

  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

  • 400 g higher-welfare chicken livers, trimmed

  • a few sprigs fresh sage, leaves picked

  • 1 small wineglass brandy

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pinch ground mace

  • 1 loaf French or ciabatta bread

  • 1 punnet salad cress

Preheat the oven to 110ºC/225ºF/gas ¼. Put half the butter in an ovenproof saucepan and pop it in the oven to slowly melt until it's separated – this will take about 10 minutes. Strain the yellow clarified butter into a separate bowl and set aside to cool. Discard the remaining milky-coloured butter.



Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan. Slowly fry the shallots and garlic for 10 minutes, until soft and tender, then remove to a plate. Wipe the pan clean with some kitchen roll, turn up the heat then throw in the livers and most of the sage. Cook the livers for a couple of minutes on each side, until lightly coloured but still a little pink in the middle – if you overcook them they will lose their smooth texture and become grainy.



Pour in the brandy. If you're using a gas hob you can flame it until the alcohol cooks off, but watch your hair! Simmer for a minute or so, then take the livers off the heat and tip them into a food processor with the cooked shallots and garlic. Blitz until you have a smooth purée. Add the rest of the softened butter and continue to blitz, then season well and add the mace. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl.



Sprinkle the remaining sage leaves over the parfait, then spoon over the clarified butter. Leave the parfait to set in the fridge for 1 hour. It will taste beautiful straight away, but it's even better if the flavours are left to develop for a couple of days. If the butter seal isn't disturbed it should last as long as two weeks, though it never lasts that long in my house!



When you are ready to serve, slice up the bread and griddle the little toasts. Pile them onto a board next to your parfait with a pile of snipped cress on the side and dig in.

Nutritional Information

Old-school chicken liver parfait

With a sage and clarified butter topping

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You can whiz together this gorgeous chicken liver pâté for next to nothing, and in no time at all
Serves 6
35m (plus setting time)
Super easy
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Method

Chicken livers are often forgotten these days, which is a shame as they're cheap as chips and have the most amazing flavour. Using them in a parfait really makes the most of their wonderful taste, and your friends will be so impressed you've made it yourself. I like to serve mine in the middle of the table with a big pile of little toasts and let everyone tuck in.

Preheat the oven to 110ºC/225ºF/gas ¼. Put half the butter in an ovenproof saucepan and pop it in the oven to slowly melt until it's separated – this will take about 10 minutes. Strain the yellow clarified butter into a separate bowl and set aside to cool. Discard the remaining milky-coloured butter.

Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan. Slowly fry the shallots and garlic for 10 minutes, until soft and tender, then remove to a plate. Wipe the pan clean with some kitchen roll, turn up the heat then throw in the livers and most of the sage. Cook the livers for a couple of minutes on each side, until lightly coloured but still a little pink in the middle – if you overcook them they will lose their smooth texture and become grainy.

Pour in the brandy. If you're using a gas hob you can flame it until the alcohol cooks off, but watch your hair! Simmer for a minute or so, then take the livers off the heat and tip them into a food processor with the cooked shallots and garlic. Blitz until you have a smooth purée. Add the rest of the softened butter and continue to blitz, then season well and add the mace. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl.

Sprinkle the remaining sage leaves over the parfait, then spoon over the clarified butter. Leave the parfait to set in the fridge for 1 hour. It will taste beautiful straight away, but it's even better if the flavours are left to develop for a couple of days. If the butter seal isn't disturbed it should last as long as two weeks, though it never lasts that long in my house!

When you are ready to serve, slice up the bread and griddle the little toasts. Pile them onto a board next to your parfait with a pile of snipped cress on the side and dig in.

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:

Calories

Calories are just a unit of energy. If you eat more than you use you can gain weight, or lose it if you don't eat enough. How much you need depends on your weight, gender and how active you are, but it's around 2,000 a day.

Carbs

Carbs are a great source of energy and, excluding foods such as potatoes, are made from grains - like bread, pasta and cereal. We all need carbs, but try to make them all wholegrain by sticking to brown bread, rice and pasta - they are much more nutritious.

Sugar

We all deserve a treat sometimes, but try to limit your sugar intake. Most of your sugar should come from raw fruit and milk, because they give us lots of nutrients too. Always check food labels so you know how much sugar you're eating.

Fat

We all need to eat a small amount of fat because it protects our organs and helps us grow. But we need to be careful about how much fat we eat and what kinds of fat, because in higher levels it's associated with weight gain, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Saturates

Saturated or "bad fats" are in beef, pork, chicken skin, butter, cream and cheese. Too much can be bad for our heart and cholesterol levels, but unsaturated or "good fats" in fish, nuts, avocados and some oils can help keep our hearts healthy if eaten in moderation.

Protein

Protein helps our muscles to grow and repair, as well as providing you with essential amino acids. When it comes to protein, try to eat leaner sources such as chicken and fish or non-meat sources such as eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu and pulses.
  • Calories 675
    34%
  • Carbs 27.8g
    11%
  • Sugar 7.3g 8%
  • Fat 51.8g 74%
  • Saturates 27.3g 136%
  • Protein 17.6g 39%
Of an adult's reference intake

Related recipes:

BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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  • 300 g butter, softened

  • olive oil

  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

  • 400 g higher-welfare chicken livers, trimmed

  • a few sprigs fresh sage, leaves picked

  • 1 small wineglass brandy

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pinch ground mace

  • 1 loaf French or ciabatta bread

  • 1 punnet salad cress