Rachel Allen's Chicken Liver Pate with Tomato Salad


Dish type: Starter

250g (9oz) chicken livers
110g (4oz) Kerrygold butter
50g (2oz) peeled and finely chopped shallots
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp chopped thyme leaves
75ml (3fl oz) port
Salt and ground black pepper
Tomato salad, to serve
Melba toast, to serve

1) First trim off any greenish or white sinewy bits from the chicken livers.
2) Melt 15g (½ oz) butter in a large frying pan on a low–medium heat and, when it starts to foam, add the chicken livers. Cook for 2–4 minutes on each side; cooking time will depend on the thickness of the livers, but they should still be slightly pink inside. Remove the livers to the bowl of a food processor and set aside.
3) Melt further 15g (½ oz) butter in the same frying pan over a medium heat, add the shallots and garlic and cook for 6–8 minutes until slightly golden. Tip in the thyme, port and brandy and continue to cook until the liquid has reduced to approximately 2 tablespoons. (Be very careful when adding the alcohol, as it may flame, so stand well back and make sure you pre-measure it – don’t hold the bottle of brandy or port directly over the hob.)
4) Place the shallot mixture in the food processor with the chicken livers, making sure to scrape the pan to get all the juices in. Whiz everything together until smooth then allow to cool completely. Cut half of the remaining butter into cubes and add to the chicken livers, whiz together again and season to taste.
5) Spoon into a serving bowl and smooth the top. Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter and pour a thin layer over the surface. Cover with cling film, and chill in the fridge until set. Allow to come up to room temperature before serving with tomato salad and melba toast.