Shallot Jam

You will recognize this jam as the companion to the chicken liver spread I posted yesterday. We served it two ways—the other preparation was on toasts with goat cheese broiled on top and sherry-macerated raisins.

This recipe took me forever, because I just read “cover with water” and missed the line in the recipe that actually specified an amount. So I added probably 4 cups of water and was stirring the damn thing for ages.

I had never melted sugar like this before, just BAM sugar in a pot. I stirred it constantly because I was afraid the whole thing would burn, but apparently you’re not supposed to do that? According to the internet, you just shake the pot. I didn’t have any problems with crystals forming, so I guess I dodged a bullet.

6 Tbsp + 2 tsp white granulated sugar (100 grams)
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 lb. shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water (or however much it will take to drown everything)
2 Tbsp unflavored oil (canola or vegetable or whatever)

Heat sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the sugar caramelizes. Add the shallots and garlic and coat with the caramel. Cover with water. Add oil and a pinch of salt. Boost the heat a bit and cook, stirring, until it reduces down to a jam consistency and the liquid is pretty much entirely gone.

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)

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.