Onions are cooked with raisins to make the chutney for this chicken liver pâté.
200g/7oz unsalted butter, softened
1 large onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
3 large sprigs thyme
4 juniper berries, crushed
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
200g/7oz smoked streaky bacon, rind removed and cut into dice
500g/1lb 2oz chicken livers, trimmed
2 tbsp brandy
100g/3½oz cold unsalted butter, cubed
100ml/3½fl oz clarified butter, warmed, to finish
4 slices white bread
For the onions Madagascan, in a large pan heat the olive oil. Add the onions and allow to colour. Add the sugar, black pepper and salt, bay leaves, thyme, raisins, vinegar, tomato purée and 500ml/18fl oz water. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until the onions are tender but not falling apart. This will take about 50 minutes. Finish with chopped parsley.
For the chicken liver pâté, heat the softened butter in a large frying pan, add the onion and cook gently for a minute or so without allowing it to colour. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the bay leaves, thyme, crushed juniper berries and grated nutmeg. Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the bacon. Add the chicken livers and cook through. To test, remove a piece of liver from the pan and cut it open; it should be moist but no longer bloody (a little tinge of pink is fine). Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves, add the brandy and then slowly tilt the pan towards the flame, or light with a match. Let the flames flare up then die down.
Remove from the pan and transfer to a food processor. Allow it to cool slightly then blend until smooth.
Add the cold butter and a little more salt to taste and blend again.
Spoon the pâté into four little pots and cover the tops with warm clarified butter. Allow to set in the refrigerator for a few hours.
Just before serving, heat the grill and toast each slice of bread on both sides. Trim off the crusts and cut each slice in half horizontally. Turn off the grill. Rub the uncooked sides on a board to remove the excess crumbs. Cut into triangles and place under the turned off grill, uncooked side up, until they curl and dry.
Serve with spoonfuls of the onion chutney and the pots of pâté.
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