Are you a fan of organ meats? What is your favourite organ? In my household growing up, I’d say the first organ I’ve ever tried was Chicken Liver because we normally had a whole Chicken in our Chicken soup so it was true nose to tail eating (yes, even the head). In Sarawak, it’s also very common to see Pork Liver soup in Coffee soup to be consumed along with Kampua noodles, or beef tripe/stomach in our beef noodles. So I’m not unfamiliar with those either.
However, having spent 10 years in Melbourne meant I was quite deprived of organ meats with the exception of occasional pate but most people there don’t really have a taste for organs during the early 00s. Now that I’m in Klang Valley, there is really no shortage of organ meats for our consumption.
Now with our diet moving towards mainly animal based, organ meats are especially important. Most organ meats are highly nutritious, and in fact some are not nutrient-dense than their muscle meat counterpart. It does vary from animal to animal but in general, they are rich in B-vitamins, such as vitamin B12 and folate; minerals including iron, magnesium, selenium and zinc; and important fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K. Best still, they are incredibly economical!
Today I’d like to share a recipe of a fancy sounding dish which you can make at home for a fraction of the price: Chicken Liver Pâté. Pâté is a mixture of ground meat and fat minced into a spreadable paste. Liver is most commonly used. There are literally endless combinations of other ingredients. Vegetables, herbs, spices, other meats, etc. We often see it in French restaurants, as part of Pub Grub, and sometimes German restaurants too (although they do normally serve Pork pate instead). But with very minimal effort, we can replicate this.
You need to use very fresh livers, obviously. A pack of chicken liver (~400g) will set you back less than 2 ringgit, bargain! Make sure to use good Butter for that silky smooth texture as well as creamy mouthfeel. Not everyone has Brandy at home, you can either omit that totally or substitute with cheaper option (white wine is great for this).
Chicken Liver Pâté Recipe
400g Chicken Liver
1/4 Onion, diced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
A pinch of Fresh Thyme (optional)
2 tablespoon of Brandy, or a generous splash of white wine
Salt and Pepper
Extra butter to be pour on top of pâté
Trim the chicken livers of any stringy sinews, then rinse them and gently pat dry with kitchen paper.
Melt a large tablespoon of butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until softened.
Add the livers and thyme, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3-4 minutes, or until the livers are coloured on the outside but pink in the centre. Pour in the brandy/wine, cook for an extra 10 seconds, then add the remaining butter to the pan, season with salt and pepper (optional, I normally use only salt).
Set aside for a few minutes for the butter to soften, then puree the mixture in batches in a blender until super smooth. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Spoon the pâté a couple of round ceramic pot (I used a Le Creuset Mini Cocotte) or ramekin and chill. Melt the extra butter and pour a little over the pâté. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before eating.
When the Pâté is fully chilled, it’s smooth, silky, aromatic and creamy, almost like a savoury ice cream. I love eating it as it is. Obviously, bread is out of the question for those on a low-carb diet. For a carnivorous treat, can I suggest pairing it with crunchy pork rinds? It’s heavenly! Parmesan Crisps would work fabulously too. Of course you can also make low carb/keto bread but personally I stay away from Keto bakes totally.
Hopefully you get to try this at home! Let me know how it turns out!