Chicken Liver Parfait
Usually serve with brioche slices and chutney. But I personally prefer this with macaroons and black cherries balsamic vinegar reduction (as per the picture above). I got this idea from a foie gras macaroon I had in Lyon, it was heavenly and I have since made the macaroon with either foie gras or chicken liver parfait filling which are both equally tasty. When I haven’t got the time to make the macaroons I have this instead with a lightly toasted brioche with either plum or apricot jam. I love the sweetness of the plum or apricot with the chicken liver parfait.
Food processor and a Terrine Mould of approx 12½ inches long. I used to use a 12½ inch mould but as I recently got a lovely ‘Terrine Mould’ present that is approx 10 inches long, I used this now instead, using same recipe below and just pour the excess mixture on a small ramekin/oven proof dish.
Ingredients Serves 8:
For the parfait:
1. 400g fresh chicken livers (remove the sinews and gall bladders or it will be bitter) It is also important to get fresh and not frozen chicken liver.
2. 500ml of milk
3. 4 tsp of salt
4. 100ml Madeira
5. 100ml ruby port
6. 60g of shallots, finely chopped
7. 2 sprigs of thyme leaves only
8. 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or grated.
9. 50ml Cognac or Armagnac
10. Optional- 2 tbsp of double cream
11. Optional- ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg or all spice
12. 5 eggs
13. 400g of melted, unsalted butter
14. A pinch of ground black pepper
15. Optional- Whole pink peppercorns and bay leaf
For the glazing:
16. 60g softened butter
17. 60g softened lard (you can replace lard with another 75g of softened butter)
1. On a bowl, add the milk, 2 tsp of salt and chicken liver. Soak overnight or for at least an hour.
2. Drain chicken livers and discard the liquid marinade.
3. Preheat the oven at 120°C. Grease your terrine mould with butter.
4. On a sauce pan bring to boil the Madeira, port, shallots, thyme, garlic and Armagnac, until liquid has reduced by one-third and then remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.
5. Once the liquid has cooled down add on a food processor with drained chicken livers and process, slowly add the eggs one at a time. Process until all the ingredients are incorporated and smooth.
6. Add the butter slowly onto the parfait mixture, as the parfait may split if the butter is added all at once too quickly, season with 2 tsp of salt and a pinch of ground black pepper. Process all ingredients. (Optional: add 2tbsp of double cream and ½ tsp of grated nutmeg or all spice)
7. Press parfait mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl; add into the terrine mould, then cover the terrine mould with grease foil/terrine mold cover.
8. Place the terrine in a deep baking tray; pour in boiling water until it reaches two-thirds of the way up the sides of the terrine. Cook for 45 minutes or until just set. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
9. Once the parfait has cooled at room temperature, remove the foil and any discolouration on the top. Mix softened butter and lard together, add on top of the terrine, decorate with pink peppercorns or bay leaf.
10. Cover terrine with a cling film. Chill on the fridge overnight, though would be best to give it 2 days to chill.
11. Dip a palette knife/knife into hot water, run through the sides of the terrine to detach the mixture from the terrine mould.
Transfer onto a plate and serve or spread over the macaroon shells and sandwich the macaroons together.
For The Macaroon
Macaroon mould, piping bag, electric whisk or food mixer
1. 130g icing sugar
2. 140g ground almonds
3. 100g egg whites only
4. Pinch of salt
5. 2tbsp water
6. 95g caster sugar
8. ½ tsp of food colouring (I prefer to use the food colouring paste as the colour is more intense compared to the food colouring liquid)
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
2. On a large bowl mix the icing sugar, ground almonds and food colouring. This almond mixture will turn into a paste like texture.
3. On a separate clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold a medium-stiff peak.
4. On a small pan gently melt sugar with the water, boil until the sugar dissolves into thick syrup.
5. Gently pour your sugar syrup onto your egg whites, whisk again until the mixture becomes stiff and shiny. Add this mixture onto your almond paste mixture. Gently mix together until the mixture becomes stiff again.
6. Pour the mixture into a piping bag. Pipe the mixture onto a macaroon mould or into a lined baking sheet.
7. If you would like to add hazelnut pieces or peal sugars as decoration add it at this stage.
8. Leave the macaroons out to form a dry shell between 30 minutes to an hour, then bake in the oven for 10–12. Remove from the oven, leave to cool at room temperature before spreading over the chicken liver parfait over the macaroon shells.
Leave to rest for 30 minutes before serving.
For the black cherries balsamic vinegar reduction:
1. Black cherries in syrup (available in waitrose, picture below)
2. 4 tbsp of Balsamic vinegar
3. Pinch of sugar
Black cherries balsamic vinegar reduction:
1. On a small pan, heat the balsamic vinegar with the black cherries with it’s syrup and a pinch of sugar.Simmer until liquid has reduced by one-third, then remove the pan from the heat and set aside. Serve on the side of chicken liver parfait macaroon (as per the picture above).
Extra Tip: Leftover Chicken liver parfait can be eaten for up to 3 days, if covered with a tight cling film on the fridge. The cling film needs to be air tight to prevent the parfait from oxidising and discolouring. The addition of the double cream, nutmeg/all spice and thyme gives the parfait a creamier texture and more delicate flavour. If you prefer your parfait to be firmer, with a stronger chicken liver and Armagnac flavour omit the double cream, nutmeg/allspice and thyme from your ingredients. I have tried both recipes and enjoyed both equally.