Chicken Liver Spread

[image: toasts with chicken liver spread and shallot jam]
[image: toasts with chicken liver spread and shallot jam]

That photo has two recipes on it, I’ll put up the shallot jam in the next few days. Brown on brown on brown, such a feast for the eyes!

Today will just be focused on the chicken liver spread. I was going to call it pate, but apparently I already a recipe by that name. Plus I have Julia Child’s recipe for chicken liver mousse. I guess I can’t try another chicken liver recipe until I get a thesaurus. The book calls this one “chicken foie gras,” but that’s way overselling it, not to mention super pretentious. This is just a good basic spread recipe—much easier than the other two I’ve posted. The taste is perhaps a little less… refined? than Julia’s because of the absence of a mega-ton of butter and cream, so you get a bit more of the actual taste of livers. Which I think can be a good thing!

2 Tbsp butter
10–12 oz. chicken livers—drained, rinsed, and trimmed of any green bits or large chunks of fat
1 Tbsp sherry
1 Tbsp freshly chopped aromatic herbs (we used tarragon, thyme, and parsley)
1 tsp white granulated sugar
Salt and pepper

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add livers, sherry, herbs, sugar, and 1 tsp kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp table salt). Cook until the livers are cooked through (poke them apart and look inside, if they bleed, they’re not done). Transfer to a food processor or blender and puree smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

(P.S. tarragon is delicious)

Scallion Pancakes

[image: scallion pancake with dipping sauce]
[image: scallion pancake with dipping sauce]

For a more in-depth look at how exactly to roll the pancakes, take a look at Serious Eats, which is where I got this recipe. I halved it (because my little desktop green onions could only yield so much!) and changed a few little things. Next time, I think I’ll add one of my chile peppers to the scallions inside the pancake for some extra kick.

1 cup AP flour (plus extra for rolling)
1/2 cup boiling water
sesame oil
1 cup green onions, thinly sliced
vegetable oil
kosher salt

Put flour in food processor. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the boiling water until the dough just comes together (it will probably end up being not the entire amount). Remove from workbowl and knead a few times on a floured surface. Shape into a ball and place in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit on the counter for a half hour (or overnight in the fridge).

Divide dough into two balls. Take one half and with a rolling pin, roll out on a floured surface into an 8-inch round. With a pastry brush (or just lightly with your hand), lightly coat with sesame oil. Roll up into a cylinder, then twist the roll into a spiral, tucking the end underneath. Reroll into an 8-inch round.

Coat with another layer of sesame oil, then sprinkle 1/2 cup of green onions on top evenly. Roll up again (carefully) and twist into a spiral, and roll down into an 7-inch round (carefully, dusting more flour around if things start sticking). Sprinkle both sides with kosher salt and lightly press in.

Repeat for other half of dough.

Heat vegetable oil (Serious Eats recommends 1/4 cup, I just used enough to coat my pan) in a non-stick 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, slip in one pancake. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, shaking pan so that it heats evenly. Be careful when flipping so that you don’t get oil everywhere. Remove from pan, let drain on paper towels, and cut into wedges. Repeat for second pancake. Serve with…

Dipping Sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp sriracha
1 tsp sugar
1-2 tsp minced green onion (basically whatever you have leftover from filling the pancakes)

Mix together.

So my first pancake turned out uneven and sort of burned in spots because I didn’t keep the pan moving enough and wasn’t cognizant of the oil temperature.

[image: slightly burnt scallion pancake]
[image: unevenly burnt scallion pancake]

So look more like the top picture and less like this one. (Of course, the ones on Serious Eats look way better, but I do what I can.)


This is a fairly simple recipe—you could jazz it up with paprika, sriracha, roasted red bell peppers, etc. But it’s pretty good on its own with a bunch of veggies or pretzel sticks to dip!

1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup tahini (or make your own, see below)
2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp kosher salt
1/8-1/4 tsp ground cumin
2-4 Tbsp olive oil

Optional step for ultra smooth hummus: remove skins from garbanzo beans.

In a blender (or food processor, but I find a blender makes for a smoother product), combine the garbanzo beans, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and cumin. Pulse to combine roughly. Turn machine on low speed and slowly drizzle in the oil. Increase speed and run until the hummus is smooth in consistency. Check seasoning, then refrigerate for an hour to let the flavors meld.

rounded 1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Toast sesame seeds in a small frying pan over medium heat. Let cool, then empty into a coffee grinder. Pulse 10 or so times to reduce the seeds to a paste. Empty into a bowl and add the oils and salt. Mix to combine.

Note: clean the coffee grinder by grinding some uncooked rice to a powder, discarding said powder, and then wiping it out with a damp paper towel.

Chicken Liver Pate

1 lb chicken livers, rinsed and drained
2 shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup dry white wine
1-2 Tbsp parsley, chopped roughly
3-5 leaves fresh sage, chiffonade
salt and pepper, to taste
pinch of sugar, if needed

Melt the butter and oil together in a large pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and saute until golden and soft, about three minutes. Add the chicken livers, broth, and wine to the pan. Stir, chopping up the liver with a wooden spoon or spatula. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pan with lid, and let cook until the pink is almost out of the livers, about ten minutes. Uncover and raise the heat back to medium. Let the liquid reduce and the rest of the pink to leave the livers. When there is only a little liquid left, take off the heat and pour/scrape into a food processor. Add parsley, sage, salt, and pepper. Puree until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings- if it’s bitter, add a little bit of sugar.