I’m a huge fan of pâtés. They’re delicious, nutritious, and highly versatile. This is a cranberry variation of the classic chicken liver pâté, inspired by how tasty my blueberry balsamic beef liver pâté was. The tart cranberries cut through the fatty goodness and also add some festive color.
- 1 pound chicken livers, thickly sliced
- 2 large shallots, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed, plus more butter for cooking
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 (12 ounce) bag of cranberries, fresh or frozen (approx. 340 grams)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup cranberry juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 1 tablespoon gelatin
1) In a pan over medium heat, sauté shallots and thyme in some butter, until shallots have softened (approx. 5-7 minutes). Transfer shallots to food professor bowl.
2) Add more butter to the pan, then add chicken livers. Sauté until livers are cooked through and no longer pink on the inside, without overcooking them.*
3) Transfer the livers to the food processor. Add salt, nutmeg, and pepper.
4) Place cranberries in a pan over medium heat. Add lemon juice and cinnamon stick. Cook cranberries until they are cooked through. You may need to add a little bit of water from time to time if the pan gets too dry. Make sure to cook off the water before removing the pan from the heat. Remove pan from heat. Remove the cinnamon stick. Transfer approximately half of the cranberries to the food processor.
5) Process the contents of the food processor bowl (shallots, livers, spices, half the cranberries), adding the 3/4 cup butter a few cubes at a time. Process until smooth (scraping the sides down with a spatula as necessary).
6) Transfer the chicken liver pâté to ramekins/serving dishes. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
7) Transfer remaining cranberries to a small pot. Add cranberry juice and honey. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
8) Bloom the gelatin: Place 3 tablespoon cold water in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over top of the water and allow it to sit (bloom) for 5 minutes, ensuring all of the gelatin becomes moist.
9) Stir the gelatin into the cranberry mixture. Stir well to completely dissolve the gelatin. Allow to cool to room temperature.
10) Spoon the cranberry mixture over the chicken liver pâté. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap doesn’t touch the jelly (otherwise the surface of the jelly will not be smooth). Place back in the fridge. Depending on how much cranberry jelly you’d like on top of each serving dish, you may likely have some cranberry jelly leftover. Pour the rest into a small bowl and after it sets in the fridge, use as you would any other jelly, or as cranberry sauce with meats.
11) Allow approximately 2 hours for the jelly to set. Remove the pâté from the fridge approximately half an hour before serving, to allow it to come to room temperature.
*Most recipes will instruct you to leave the insides of the livers pink in order to improve the flavor of the pâté and to impart a pretty pink color. After reading about the number of cases of food poisoning from uncooked chicken livers, and considering that most of us would never eat pink chicken otherwise, I decided to cook the livers all the way through. I slice the livers up so that they cook more evenly. Plus, the pâté is already a slight pink colour thanks to the cranberries.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please let me know in the comments and remember to share it (pinterest, facebook, twitter, etc.). Thanks!