Ca Doit Être Du Foie Gras

This pâté, which bears a remarkable resemblance to foie gras, is what I would expect to taste at the table of a woman who is the daughter of a charcutier, it is so smooth and delectable.  Suzanne Pieto makes this wonderful pâté, following a recipe from her father who was a master charcutier.  “Oh, his sauces, his food, he did everything by hand and everything he made was delicious,” she said.

What I love about this recipe is its simplicity – reading it, you’d never guess the flavor and texture it gives.  Be sure to serve freshly toasted bread with this.

1 pound (500g) chicken livers, trimmed of any veins or gristle if necessary

1/3 cup (80ml) port wine

1 pound (500g) unsalted butter, cut in chunks, at room temperature

2 teaspoons fleur de sel

Several grinds of white pepper

Fresh chervil or flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

1 baguette, sliced and toasted just before serving


1.  Place the chicken livers and port in a non-reactive bowl, stir, cover, and refrigerate for at least 24 and up to 48  hours.

2.  Transfer the chicken livers and the port to a small pan and bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat so the chicken livers are simmering merrily, cover, and cook until the chicken livers are cooked through and no longer bright red in the center, 12 to 15 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat.

3.  Drain the chicken livers, reserving the cooking liquid.  Place the chicken livers and 3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid in the bowl of a food processor and purée them.  If the purée is very, very stiff,  you can add more cooking liquid to loosen them up – they should be the thickness of very heavy cream.  Cool the purée, then strain it through a sieve to remove any gristle in the livers. (Depending on the livers you use, this step may not be necessary.)

4.  Return the purée to the cleaned bowl of the food processor, add the butter and the salt and purée until the mixture is smooth. If necessary, add 1 additional tablespoon of cooking liquid to lighten the pâté.  Season with the pepper, and additional salt if necessary. Transfer the pâté to a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate for several hours, or overnight. The pâté will keep several days, tightly covered.

5. To serve the pâté, garnish with the herbs, and serve immediately while it is still chilled, with the toasted rounds of baguette alongside.


Makes a generous 3 cups (750ml)

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