In Ireland, as in so many places, people originally ate offal because they had to, as they couldn’t afford to waste precious meat, no matter what the organ’s original function. In more recent times, the Irish, or some of them at any rate, have taken to eating offal simply because they like it. This country-style chicken liver pâté recipe is one of the most popular appetizers and bar snacks at Maurice Keller’s Arlington Lodge in Waterford. He says to serve “with a crisp salad, melba toast, and any sweet chutney or relish.”–Colman Andrews
LC Not So Offal Note
This country-style pâté redefines refined. It’s larded with slab bacon, freckled with hints of fresh parsley and cilantro, and left pleasingly, old-fashionedly chunky. It’s a traditional take on pâté that leaves little to the imagination—save for how lovely something so simple can be. Offal’s never been so not awful.
Arlington Chicken Liver Pâté
- 1 pound slab bacon diced
- 1 large onion coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 pounds large chicken livers membranes removed
- 12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) butter
- Salt and coarsely cracked black pepper
- Leaves from 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley minced, plus 15 to 20 whole leaves for garnish
- Leaves from 1/2 bunch cilantro minced (optional)
- Fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until lightly browned. Add the onion and garlic, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
- Add the chicken livers to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re cooked through but still slightly pink inside, 8 to 10 minutes. As the livers cook, add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and season the livers with salt and plenty of pepper. Stir in the parsley and, if using, the cilantro. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse 3 to 4 times, just until a coarse paste is achieved.
- Line a 1 1/2-quart terrine or glass loaf pan with plastic wrap and scrape the chicken liver mixture into the pan. Cover the terrine with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the butter solidifies, at least several hours and preferably overnight. (You can refrigerate the terrine for up to 5 days.)
- Turn the terrine out onto a serving plate, distribute the parsley leaves evenly over the top, and serve immediately with a knife for slicing.
How To Freeze PâtéAccording to Grace, one of our readers, the pâté can be frozen. Simply cut thick slices, place the slices in individual zip-top bags, press out the air, and seal. The pâté should last up to three months in the freezer.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I love pâté, so this was a must-try. The main change I made, from previous experience, is save a tad of bacon fat to grease the terrine, to make it easier to turn out. Adding the cilantro really did make a difference in taste. I made two batches—the first one I tried to remove the next day and it wasn’t quite ready, but the second one I removed three days later was perfect. TIPS: Make sure there aren’t any air pockets when pouring the paste into the terrine. Make sure it’s well compacted, so that the terrine doesn’t fall apart when when removing.
Originally published December 29, 2010