Beyond Chopped Liver: Gigi’s Chicken Liver Pâté
The other day I took a drive out to Gigi’s Market at Greig Farm, which is tucked away half a mile off Route 9 in Red Hook. For lunch, I ordered the Bianca Skizza, a flatbread “pizza” that’s an intoxicating combination of figs, Coach Farm goat cheese, arugula and white truffle oil ($10.50). Paired with a salad dressed in gossamer sherry shallot vinaigrette, it’s a great lunch for two. Everything was so delicious that I decided to buy some prepared food to take home, and the lasagna Bolognese and Tuscan style Minestrone were both superb, savory and satisfying. But it was the Chicken Liver Pâté that was a revelation—creamy, tangy with a hint of fruit. I expected a refined version of the chopped liver from the Jewish delis of my childhood, but Gigi’s version tastes like it’s made by an Italian grandmother instead of a Kosher one. When I asked for the recipe, I discovered the three secret ingredients (which were not used back in the shtetls of Eastern Europe) that make this pâté so divine: heavy cream, orange zest, and truffle oil. For those of us who don’t live close enough to shop regularly at Gigi’s, this recipe is truly a prize.
Make the pate ahead as the flavors will only get better, about 2 days and up until 2 weeks. Serve spread onto croutes with cornichons.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium shallot, chopped
1 lb chicken livers, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup white wine such as a dry Riesling, Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
1 cup heavy cream
1 navel orange
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon truffle oil, optional
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Heat olive oil in large skillet over moderately high heat, until hot but not smoking and cook shallots, stirring, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add chicken livers, with thyme and cook, stirring, 4 minutes. Add wine and simmer, until reduced by two-thirds, about 8 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and simmer until reduced by half, about 10 minutes more (chicken livers will be cooked through at this point).
• Transfer mixture to a food processor and finely grate the zest of the orange with a micro plane or with the small holes of a hand held grater into the processor. Blend chicken liver mixture with lemon juice and truffle oil until smooth.
• Strain mixture through a fine sieve set over a bowl and season pate with salt and pepper to taste. Chill pate until cooled and thickened.
• Transfer pate to a serving bowl or spread on croutes and serve with cornichons.
Makes about 3 cups