Spiced Chicken, Bacon and Chutney Paté

I love a good paté. From the small glass jars of chicken or beef paste available in every supermarket to the first course servings of velvety parfait in restaurants. Seeing as I love it so, I was pondering why I’d never made it. A Sainsbury substitution fixed that.

Suddenly I had 400g of chicken livers to deal with, not the 800g of lamb liver I’d ordered. I like chicken livers, especially Portuguese style stuffed into a soft roll, but Husband is not a fan of the texture, so I needed to find something else to do with them. Paté happened.
I found a reliable recipe online and then played with it. I didn’t want super smooth, and I didn’t want it to have purely livers in it either. I found smoked bacon in the fridge, and some dark and spicy green tomato and bramley apple chutney I’d made when we had a freezer clear out. Something about the buttery onion/bay smell made me want to add allspice, so that went in too.

Cooking commenced.

125g butter (and a bit extra to coat the top if desired)
1 large onion (white), chopped
6 slices of smoked streaky bacon, chopped
2 bay leaves
4 allspice berries, crushed to a fine powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1 – 2 cloves garlic, crushed
400g free-range chicken livers
2 bay leaves
20ml apricot brandy
4 heaped dessertspoons of apple chutney (any dark fruity chutney will work)

Melt the butter in a large pan, and add the bay leaves and the onions. Cook them on a medium heat, and then after 5 minutes add in the bacon. Cook that mix until the bacon is properly opaque, then mix in the garlic, smoked paprika and the allspice and let that all cook gently together until the garlic and onions are soft.

Add your chicken livers, turn the heat up briefly to get a good sear on the livers, then add in the brandy and simmer til the livers are almost cooked through.

If there’s excess liquid, don’t panic.  Drain that off and set aside for later.

Pop the liver/onion mixture into a food processor, add in the chutney, and pulse. Of course you can make this as smooth as you want, but I wanted it slightly chunky.

If there’s juices left, pop them back in the pan, and reduce furiously until syrupy and thickened then add them to the food processor mixture too.

Now taste it. Add in salt if you want it (personally I think livers need a decent amount of it), black pepper, more allspice if you want. You could even add in finely diced apples at this point. Give it another couple of pulses.

When it’s at the texture you want, decant into jars or bowls.
Melt around 2 ounces of butter to pour onto the tops of the paté so that it’s sealed in. I added a bay leaf to the top because I could.

Pop in the fridge so the butter can set hard, then serve with toast or crackers, whatever you want!

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