In my Weston A. Price / Paleo foodie circles, liver is a SUPERFOOD! It’s loaded with Vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 plus many more vitamins and minerals. See THIS CHART from ChrisKresser.com.
Are these nutrient powerhouse qualities found in ALL liver? Nope. Just in liver and other organ meats from pastured animals, consuming species-appropriate food, and raised on well-managed farms … not on commercial feedlots or CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations). The liver for this recipe came from East of Eden Farm where heritage breed chickens are raised on pasture and with supplemental organic feed that is free of soy and GMO corn. TIP #1: Get to know your local farmer and ask about their farming practices before purchasing.
Now on to the recipe! As you may know, liver pâté has a reputation for it’s distinct flavor of, well, liver. But I employ a few tricks to overcome that challenge. The first is a secret ingredient … TIP #2: Dried cranberries! The sweetness goes a long way toward balancing the liver taste. It can be a challenge to find dried cranberries that do not have added sugar or include sunflower oil. If needed, a great substitute is dried figs. Whichever dried fruit you use, be sure to RE-hydrate it in warm water then drain well before combining with the other ingredients.
Smooth & Mellow Chicken Liver Pâté
1 pound chicken livers, from pastured chickens
Milk or lemon juice, for soaking
1/2 cup dried cranberries or diced dried figs, rehydrated in warm water and drained
1 large Vidalia or other sweet onion, diced and lightly sautéed in butter, lard or ghee
3 cloves garlic, minced (I love this handy garlic mincer!)
8 tablespoons grass-fed butter, softened
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Rinse and drain livers, removing any connective tissues. For a more mellow flavor, move livers to a glass dish and pour milk or lemon juice over just to cover. (That’s TIP #3.) Seal dish and store in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
When you’re ready to prepare the pâté, rinse and drain the livers again. While they drain, bring a pan of filtered water to a boil, then place the livers in the water and quickly reduce heat to a very low simmer. The goal is to “poach” the livers, just until done and still slightly pink in the center. Yes, TIP #4 is to avoid overcooking the liver to maintain a fresh taste and smooth texture.
As soon as the liver is cooked to your liking, pour through a colander or mesh strainer and … here comes TIP #5 … quickly rinse with warm water to remove any exuded particles. If you’ve cooked liver before, you’ll know what that looks like. This step further reduces the strong liver flavor.
Finally, add the liver to sautéed onions, fresh minced garlic (raw garlic aids digestion), and softened butter in a food processor or blender and combine until SMOOTH so that the dried fruit is well-incorporated. Season with salt & pepper to taste and store in several small tightly-sealed containers. For best flavor, consume within 3 to 5 days. Makes approximately 2 cups.
Served on sliced cucumbers, this Smooth & Mellow Liver Pâté is favorite go-to lunch, snack or appetizer at my house! Bon appétit!