This quick and luscious pâté can easily be made in a smaller quantity with just the livers found inside of one chicken. Rabbit or duck liver works equally well, and another brandy or a good balsamic vinegar can substitute for the Calvados.
Rinse the livers, trim off the tough tissue that connects the two lobes, and pat the livers dry. In a nonstick sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the chicken livers, seasoning with a small amount of salt. Cook the livers, turning, to medium rare (they’ll continue to cook as they cool), lightly browning on all sides, about 4 minutes. Set the livers aside and add the pancetta, shallots, and thyme to the pan. Gently sauté over medium heat until the pancetta is slightly colored and the shallots are softened. Add the Calvados and deglaze the pan, scraping with a wooden spoon and cooking until the Calvados is reduced to about 1 Tbs.; set aside to cool slightly. Put the cooled livers, pancetta- shallot mixture, and butter in a food processor and process until well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Put the spread into a ramekin or small bowl, lightly covering the top with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until set. Grind more pepper over the top before serving with crostini or crackers.
nutrition information (per serving):
based on eight servings;
Photo: Martha Holmberg & Steve Hunter