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A simple pâté with a meaty texture and herb-filled flavor. Use either fresh duck or chicken livers and please don't let the number of ingredients deter you. I had this at my daughter's and it is very, very good. Can be made two days ahead of serving.
FOR THE LIVER MIXTURE
- 3⁄4 lb chicken liver
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1⁄2 cup Applejack or 1⁄2 cup other brandy
- 5 ounces well-chilled pork fat, cut into 1/4 in cubes
FOR THE PANADA
- 3⁄4 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups cubed day-old crustless French bread
- white pepper
FOR THE FORCEMEAT
- 3⁄4 lb ground veal or 3⁄4 lb venison or 3⁄4 lb rabbit
- 3⁄4 lb ground pork
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 pinch mace
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
FOR THE GARNISH
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted shelled pistachio
- 2 tablespoons whole green peppercorns
- 1 1⁄2 lbs thinly sliced bacon
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig sage
- 1 sprig thyme
- MAKE THE LIVER MIXTURE:.
- Sauté the livers lightly in 1 tbsp olive oil over med heat for about 5 minutes. Push to the side of the pan and add the second tbsp olive oil. Add apple, onion, garlic, bay leaf, parsley, sage and thyme and sauté for another minute. Toss lightly and pour in the brandy. Sauté for 1 more minute. Remove pan from heat and toss in the cubed pork fat. Cool to room temperature.
- MAKE THE PANADA:.
- Combine the cream and bread cubes in a medium bowl; stir until cubes are soaked through. Season with s&p. Mash into a thick paste.
- MAKE THE FORCEMEAT:.
- Mix well the ground veal with the ground in a medium bowl using cold hands. Stir in eggs and seasonings. Combine well and chill.
- ASSEMBLE THE PÂTÉ:.
- FIRST: When the sautéed liver mixture has cooled, remove bay leaf. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until blended but still a bit coarse then transfer to a bowl. Place forcemeat mixture into the processor, add the panada and pulse until blended, about 1 minute. Add liver mixture to the forcemeat mixture and pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the pistachios and whole green peppercorns from the list of the garnish ingredients.
- Line a pâté mold (or a 1 1/2 quart loaf pan) with the sliced bacon, allowing the ends to hang over the edges by 2 inches. Fill the pan with the pâté mixture. Fold the ends of the bacon over and place the bay leaf, sage and thyme on top.
- Cover the pan tightly with heat-resistant plastic wrap then by heavy foil. Place in a bain Marie (a roasting pan and pour in enough cold water to reach 3/4 of the way up the side of the pâté dish. Bake in a 325° oven for two hours or until the internal temperature registers 140°F.
- Remove the foil and plastic wrap from the pâté. Cool to room temperature. Rewrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.