Cooking with Pete and Barb Marczyk: Chicken liver pâté
Pete Marczyk and Barbara Macfarlane do not leave their work behind when they leave Marczyk Fine Foods and head for their great old Denver house with the big, new kitchen. They often bring some of their market's choicest ingredients home with them, and cook up a feast.
Barb's sister Mariah, aka Mamie, is a restaurant chef in Vermont, and her menu includes, among other things, chicken liver pâté, a dish that we love here at Westword Food Headquarters. It's a huge seller, says Barb, and Pete just happened to make a big batch of it last night in Denver for a fundraising shindig. "Chicken liver pate is perfect for a fall party," says Barb, who recommends pairing it with a glass of Cockburn twenty-year-old Tawny Port. She also advises serving the pâté in little pots. "It can turn brown if you let it sit out too long, but putting it in pots keeps it looking fresher."
Mamie's Chicken Liver Pâté
1 pint free-range chicken livers, cut in half, membranes trimmed and discarded
1 stick butter
3 large shallots, peeled and finely diced
1/2 cup port or Madeira
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 slices plain white bread
Toasted challah, for serving
1. Melt the butter and saute the shallots until golden.
2. Add the chicken livers to the cooked shallots, and saute until they're juicy, about a minute.
3. Add the port, and continue cooking for about 5 minutes.
4. Add cayenne pepper, allspice, salt and pepper and 2 slices of white bread to soak up the juices. Stir. Set aside and cool.
5. Process the mixture until completely smooth. If it's too grainy, process more. If it's too thick, add a little cream.
6. Adjust seasonings.
7. Refrigerate, covered, for 24 hours or until firm.
8. Serve with toasted challah.