Chicken Liver Patè is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you’re wanting to snack, but this is so good it might just change your preferences. The powerful flavour of ground cloves collides beautifully against the intensity of the liver, but it’s the orange which lifts this recipe towards brilliance. The zest, bitter and aromatic, is the perfect compliment to the fatty liver, and the juice donates a fruity freshness. The patè is creamy, mousse-like, and you’ll find it’s best straight off the spoon.
Chicken Liver Patè with Orange and Zest: Why the Orange Works
I’m reading, cooking, eating and tasting my way through the culinary book Bitter by Jennifer McLagan. It won the 2015 James Beard Award for the single subject category, and I can see why. It’s a fascinating read, full of bizarre information about how our sense of taste is no simple matter. We’re led to believe that taste is governed by our tastebuds and nose, but all sorts of things – our age, our cultural prejudices, the shape of our dinner plate, the colour of the food – contribute to how we perceive what goes into our mouths.
Here in Italy, we love the taste of bitter. It’s common to mix bitter salad leaves in with the sweet and soft ones, or to sautè a big head of endive or radicchio and serve it as a side. We love chicory and dandelion, and both our aperitivos and our digestivos are tinged with bitter. This book, however, has taken my palate and my cooking to another level of appreciation. I now know, for example, that a synergistic magic occurs when fat and bitter are combined.
I wanted to explore that relationship in the context of a chicken liver patè. Having such a strong taste, liver needs to be tempered, and for that the addition of ground cloves works really well. But to bring out the robust flavour of fat, I thought to try orange zest – and wow, what an impact! It’s gorgeous.
I want to serve this to guests without them knowing it’s chicken liver patè. Maybe I can make grilled zucchini wraps, or fill tiny savoury tart cases. I want to see if this patè, with it’s complex and balanced flavours, will overcome the common resistance to organ meats. I’ve got a feeling it will.
You Might Like
Oregano Crackers with an Avocado and Mint Dip – A simple cracker, AIP, perfect for a thick smudge of patè.
Paleo Bread with Cassava Flour and Linseeds – My go-to, nut-free bread. I love it toasted.
Basil and Chicken Meatballs – A wonderful, light, beautifully flavoured meatball which is also Fodmap Free.
Let me know in the comments how you go with this one – I think you’re going to love it!
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- 400 grams /14 ounces chicken liver
- 1 large orange
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 5 tablespoons lard, divided
- Zest the orange and mince the zest. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice. You want ⅓ cup of juice.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of lard in a frypan. Add the chicken livers, ground cloves and orange zest and cook the livers thoroughly, turning often, until they stop seeping blood, about 7 minutes.
- Put the cooked livers into the food processor and add the orange juice. Process on high until it the livers are well blended. The mixture will be quite liquid - this is fine.
- Pour the patè into small serving dishes, stopping ½ cm / ¼ inch from the top.
- Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of lard. Pour over the patè, just enough to seal the surface. Carefully transfer to the fridge and wait for the patè to solidify, at least 1 hour.