Pâté is a mixture of cooked ground meat and fat minced into a spreadable paste. Common additions include vegetables, herbs, spices, and either wine, brandy or cognac. Pâté can be served either hot or cold with crackers or crudité. It can be served as an appetizer at a dinner party, or as a light lunch. It takes less than a half-hour to prepare, and it will firm up in the fridge in a few hours. Simply transfer the mixture to a serving dish or individual containers or glass jars, cover and refrigerate.
250 g chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
125 g rindless bacon
100 g butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
5 ml crushed garlic
250 g chicken livers, rinsed
30 ml port or sweet sherry
2.5 ml salt
125 ml fresh cream
15 ml canned green peppercorns (optional)
50 g butter
100 ml parsley, finely chopped (optional)
1 French baguette, cut into 1 cm-thick slices
- Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized cubes on a chopping board with a cook’s knife. Set aside. Chop the bacon coarsely as well.
- Heat the butter in a large saucepan and add the onion, chicken and bacon and stir-fry until cooked.
- Add the garlic, chicken livers, port or sherry, salt, cream and peppercorns, if used.
- Bring to a boil to reduce the liquid. Remove the saucepan from the stove and set aside to cool.
- Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.
- Transfer the pâté to one large serving dish or to a few smaller dishes.
- To make the the topping, melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the parsley. Simmer for a few minutes to cook the parsley.
- Pour the butter and parsley mixture over the pâté to seal and set aside to cool.
- Cover the dish/dishes with cling wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To make the crostini, heat the oven to 180°C.
- Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet in a single layer (do this in batches if needed).
- Bake until toasted, about 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat with any remaining slices.
- Serve the pâté with crusty bread rolls as a starter or stir into cooked pasta.
- Alternatively, transfer the chicken livers to a container and set aside to cool down before storing in the fridge.
- Substitute the cream with yoghurt or cottage cheese for a low-fat pâté.
- Leftover cooked chicken or bacon can be used.
Makes about 600 ml.