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Chicken & Brandy Pâté

The signature dish of the family - handed down from my mother Sandra, which had been printed in an old St Cuthbert’s recipe book in the 50’s – her boarding school in New Zealand. Freshly made paté is a totally different experience to what you buy in the store, and tastes beautiful. Make sure to blend well so is really smooth, and don’t be shy with the alcohol and pepper. A party favourite.

As it makes such a large amount, I recommend many small containers so you can give some away as presents if you aren’t making this for a party.

Pictured: Chicken & Brandy Pâté

250g unsalted butter
1 small brown onion, diced
4 rashers bacon, diced
500g chicken livers, preferably organic, roughly chopped into even pieces, discard any sinew etc
Small wine glass of 3/4 brandy ¼ sherry, or all sherry or brandy
Pepper and sea salt

Melt butter in a small heavy based saucepan on low- med heat, then add onion and bacon, cook 5 - 10 minutes.
Add chicken livers and cook another 5 - 10 minutes.
Add lots and lots of pepper – peppered pate is a lovely combination. Add a sprinkle of sea salt so that you can smell the flavour intensify – about 3 pinches.

Take off heat, add the brandy/sherry – it will smell strongly of alcohol, but this flavour will diminish as it cools. The alcohol is added off the heat so as to keep the flavour as much as possible, otherwise it can cook off while simmering.

Let cool enough to process in a blender to a smooth paste, and then transfer all into a large bowl and stir well to even out the flavour and consistency.

Put in one large or many small containers of any size and refrigerate til firmed up. You can melt clarified butter over the top if you like. As it is cooked in alcohol it will keep for a week in the fridge, and freezes well.

Makes enough to feed a large party!