Our family loves duck liver pâté. It was our dad who introduced us to this French delicacy. He would get this from the delicatessen of The Mandarin Oriental way back in the early 80’s, since they are the ones who regularly gifts us with a Christmas basket holding a terrine of this. I clearly remember the terrine is also in the shape of a duck, I kid you not. So it’s not surprising that we would share and pass on this appreciation to our own children. Here in the Northeast, my girls love getting pâté sandwiches from Maison Kaiser or Épicerie Boulud in New York City. I also buy the D’Artagnan liver mousse either from Wegmans or Whole Foods during the Holidays. Prepared duck liver pâté is simply hard to come by in regular grocery stores back home. So this past Christmas my sister decided to make some on her own to serve for her parties and family gatherings. This is my third sister’s recipe adapted from food and wine magazine.
This by the way is chicken liver pâté since duck liver is difficult to find in Manila. To make place the following in a saucepan: 1/2 lb chicken livers cleaned and trimmed, 1 small thinly sliced onion, 1-2 garlic cloves smashed, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 tsp. thyme leaves, 1/2 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 cup water. Bring this to a simmer and cover. Cook for three minutes or until chicken livers are barely pink (don’t overcook). Stir occasionally so that seasonings are well mixed in. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes covered.
Throw away the bay leaf and place the chicken liver mixture in a food processor or a blender. Puree coursely then with the machine running add 2 tablespoon butter at a time til you use up 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter needed for this recipe. Note: butter should be room temperature. Then add 2 tsp. cognac (don’t omit since this really gives it depth of flavor). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place in ramekins or any glass container and cover with a thin layer of melted butter. Refrigerate and chill until firm.
Serve with any crusty bread or with crackers.