Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Creamy Chicken Liver Pate with Dates

It's hard for me to be thinking about the holidays and winter weather when it's almost 90° outside today IN OCTOBER!

But, nevertheless, cold weather and Christmas parties are just around the corner, so I thought I'd share this amazing chicken liver pate spread to take to your next fall picnic or holiday gathering.

It's totally delicious and you will impress all your friends and guests if you show up with this fancy appetizer. And for some reason, when ever I think of chicken liver pate, I think of it being served at fancy parties with Champagne, which by-the-way is a perfect drink to serve with this. It also pairs wonderfully with a full-bodied Pinot Noir, or really any full-bodied red wine.

Now, to be fair, not everyone likes liver pates (think liverwurst or Braunschweiger), so it might be wise to find out what the people you are sharing this with enjoy. But then again, if they don't like it...more for you!

Serve this creamy spread on warm, crusty bread or pumpernickel toasts with a small "schmear" of Dijon mustard. Heaven!

Creamy Chicken Liver Pate with Dates
Recipe modified from: Wine Bites: Simple Morsels that Pair Perfectly with Wine

1 lb. chicken livers
2 cups milk
*4-6 shallots, peeled and cut into large pieces
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 T olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons butter, sliced
4 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
2 T sherry vinegar

*Note: If your shallots are large (the size of a golfball or bigger), use 4.

Drain the chicken livers, rinse well, and remove any connective tissue. Place chicken livers in a bowl, pour the milk over, cover, and let soak in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Place the shallot pieces and garlic in a small roasting pan or pie plate, drizzle with olive oil, and toss to coat. Roast until soft and golden, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Drain and rinse the chicken livers again and pat dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over med-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add a few of the chicken livers (don't crowd) to the pan and cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned and firm but still slightly pink in the center, 4-5 minutes. Don't overcook!

Transfer cooked chicken livers and roasted shallots/garlic to a bowl with the chopped dates. Drizzle with the sherry vinegar and let sit for 2-3 minutes to blend flavors.

Add chicken liver mixture to a large food processor bowl with the remaining 1/2 cup of butter. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper if necessary. Transfer pate to a serving dish (or 2 smaller ones) and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

This pate freezes wonderfully for future parties - Spoon into in a freezer-safe container, press some plastic wrap onto the surface of the pate, cover with a lid, and then freeze. Defrost in the refrigerator several days before use.

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