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Paleo Chicken Liver Pâté (dairy-free)

paleo chicken liver pate

If you balk at the idea of consuming liver, then you’ve never had a really good pâté. And you have no idea what kind of delicacy you’re missing. I had to start making this paleo chicken liver pâté at home when I went dairy-free, and I find it to be mildly addictive.

Story

Liverpostej is a very important part of the traditional Scandinavian smorgasbord. But it requires a good deal of fat (lard, butter, cream, bacon fat) to get it to taste so great. Since I can’t do dairy, I struggled with getting the right flavor (and masking that oxidized-iron taste that liver has). So I stopped trying to do it the Scandinavian way, and went the French route. I have never looked back. This recipe is really easy and tastes phenomenal! Plus, the Scandinavian way has you pulsing raw livers in your food processor, something I never really enjoyed. In this recipe, you cook the livers first, then pulse. Much nicer on the nose. I make this weekly and have it as an afternoon snack often. Liver is full of iron and B vitamins, so indulge, guilt-free!

Ingredients

6 Tablespoons dairy-free, soy-free Earth’s Balance, natural buttery spread. Or ghee. Or real butter.
1/2 cup finely minced yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup celery tops
10 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
6 cups water
1 pound chicken livers, drained
2 Tablespoons Cognac or dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup (or less) or less almond milk or cream/cream substitute of your choice
FOR ASPIC (optional)
1/4 oz. or one envelope of gluten-free gelatin
1/4 cup cold beef or chicken broth
3/4 cup beef or chicken broth, heated to boiling

Instructions

This recipe is adapted from the classic Silver Palate Cookbook by Julie Roos & Shiela Lukins.

Melt butter in a skillet. Add the onion, garlic and thyme and cook, covered, over medium-low heat for about 25 minutes, or until onion is tender and lightly colored.

Meanwhile add the celery tops, peppercorns and bay leaves to 6 cups water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add chicken livers to water and simmer gently for about 10 minutes; livers should still be slightly pink inside.

Drain the livers, discard celery tops, bay leaves and peppercorns, and place livers, butter, onion and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steal blade. (NOTE:If you are on a low FODMAPs diet, strain the onion & garlic before adding the butter to the bowl). Add Cognac, salt, pepper, allspice and 4 teaspoons of the green peppercorns. Process until smooth.

Slowly pour in enough cream/cream substitute while blending, until you get the smooth consistency you desire. Don’t put in too much liquid. Transfer to a 2-cup terrine and stir in remaining peppercorns (or you can save some peppercorns for decorating with, below). Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Let pâté stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

If there aren’t a lot of pâté eaters in your household, you can also scrape the pâté into little ramekins and freeze some for a later date. Just place back in the refrigerator to thaw overnight, the day before you want to serve.

For a professional touch, you can top the pâté with aspic. Mine is probably a bastardized version of the real thing, because the real aspic from consommé is apparently very time-consuming. But I think this works quite nicely for my needs. 🙂

To make aspic:

Sprinkle gelatin over cold broth in a medium bowl. Let stand one minute. Add hot gelatin and stir until gelatin completely dissolves, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly. Pour over the top of the pâté. It will firm up in the refrigerater (after about 3 hours). For even more fun, you can decorate by placing a sprig of thyme on the top of the pâté before pouring the aspic, and/or dot the aspic with the remaining green peppercorns.

Author, diet & nutrition researcher, photographer. Founder of Stuffed Pepper. Using my MSc to unravel the health & science behind grains, gluten & the gluten-free/paleo lifestyle. Loves finding order in chaos.
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