#31 giblet pâté

Trying to maximize every single part of a whole chicken, I put aside the giblets and froze them for a couple of weeks in order to dedicate some time to finding a better (and tastier) way to eat them – that wasn’t simply grilled, steamed, or as gravy.  What I ended up discovering was how simply effortless a pâté can be made, how many endless versions can be made with so many different additions, and how great of a flavor can come from giblets for this particular purpose. As the ultimate stars of the cold buffet, what distinguishes pâtés is the sometimes luxurious quality of their ingredients.  The texture may be smooth and spread-friendly or they can patterned with more colorful & crunchy ingredients, like nuts or fruit.

Prepared traditionally as a liver-specific recipe, I took a chance and made a simple – yet savory! – blend with the heart, gizzard, & liver of two chickens, plus bacon for the added smoky flavor.  It was great, and we enjoyed New Year’s Eve with some very special, vitamin-packed homemade pâté!

For the Pâté

  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, cubed & chilled
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 apple, peeled & grated
  • 2 set of chicken giblets
  • Salt & pepper
  • (3 tablespoons of cognac)
  • 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, melted

Cut the first 2 tablespoons of butter into small pieces and set in fridge.  Set a large skillet on medium heat.  Brown the bacon until crispy.  Add 2 tablespoons of the next quantity of butter and let it melt.  Then, add half of the apple with the garlic and cook, stirring constantly.  Remove and place in food processor.  Set the skillet back to heat with the additional tablespoon of butter and add the chicken giblets.  Season with salt & pepper to taste.  Cook over high heat until brown on the outside, stirring constantly.  For a little kick, add 3 tablespoons of cognac and ignite with a match & swirl to burn the alcohol.

Add the ingredients to the food processor, along with the heavy cream.  Process until completely smooth into a creamy purée.  With the machine running, drop in the previously chilled butter one at a time, as well as the rest of the apple.  Scrape into a small bowl and smooth the top.  Melt the last 3 tablespoons of butter and pour on top.  Seal with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm.  Serve cold or at room temperature.

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