Chicken liver pate
250g Chicken livers
80ml milk (or more)
2 banana shallots
2tbsp clarified butter (to fry)
1tsp ras el hanout (optional)
sea salt with pepper
4tbsp+ clarified butter (to top up)
1tbsp or more of juniper berries (I use Schwartz juniper berries)
Defrost the chicken livers (if buying in the frozen ailse). Place them in a medium sized bowl and pour milk over them, leave for a couple of hours to soak. Discard the milk later. Finely slice a couple of banana shallots or one medium sized red onion. In a hot sizzling pan fry the livers and the onion together, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with some ras el hanout spice mix, and season well with sea salt and pepper (ras el hanout is now widely available, for example, in Waitrose or Tesco, I love the exotic touch it adds to any meal).
The livers should be well browned but slightly pink inside (but not bleeding). Add a dash of brandy to the frying pan. Heat up the milk in a small pan. Blitz the chicken livers and onions with a hand blender or in a food processor, adding a bit of hot milk, a spoonful at a time, to reach the right consistency, not too thick but not runny either. Spoon your pate in a ceramic dish or bowl.
Melt the clarified butter and pour on top of the pate. Scatter a handful of juniper berries on top. Let it set, preferably overnight in the fridge (cover the bowl with a lid, or cling film).
In this recipe I used Lurpak clarified butter, which is a product in their brand new Cook's range. It is a versatile product, which adds a soft nutty flavour to many dishes. I liked it so much that I have already run out of the tub which was sent to me for testing, and bought two tubs today (they are on offer of 2 for £4 in Waitrose at the moment).
You can of course, make your own clarified butter if you have time. It is very common in Russia, and in the days when people didn't have fridges, the clarified butter would keep much longer in the larder than the "normal" butter.
Juniper berries add a touch of sweetness, but if you don't like them, add some peppercorns instead.
This pate is best served on wholemeal or multi-seeded bread.