It's almost Halloween! Or should I say, "C'est presque l'halloween!" Random…
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – three cheers for #teamliverpâté! I’m eager to post this recipe for Chicken Liver Pâté 101. I like to think of this recipe as a gentle introductory-level pâté – no prerequisites required, except a willingness to try something new and, yes, really good for you.
Overcoming the Reluctance
As I engage with my blog readers and friends on social media, I notice a common theme in comments when I post pictures of or express musings on my organ meat munching – many of you want to try offal but feel wary of eating it.
Like many of you, I didn’t always take kindly to eating organ meat. But a vicious, chronic illness will prompt a gal to do just about anything to avoid the ever-looming threats of ingesting massive amounts of drugs and confronting surgery, both of which are very real risks for any IBD warrior. And so in an effort to maximize my nutrient intake with the hopes of bolstering my healing and avoiding the scary outcomes of Crohn’s Disease, I had a change of heart on the offal front.
I felt the most reasonable place to start was with liver. I mean, Master Chefs have been known to swoon over a rich and buttery liver pâté. It can’t be all that bad…right?
Aim for Nutrient Density
Sarah Ballantyne explains in The Paleo Approach, “Liver is one of the most concentrated food sources of vitamin A. In addition to containing dozens of important vitamins and minerals, it is an outstanding source of vitamin D, vitamin B12, copper, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and iron, which is in a form that is particularly easily absorbed and used by the body” (194). Okay, The Paleo Mom, you had me at nutrients and bioavailability!
Modify your Palate
Also keep in mind, as Ballantyne mentions in The Paleo Approach, “[y]our taste buds constantly turn over, just as all the cells in your body do, so as you change foods, your ability to enjoy them changes and improves as well” (195). I can attest to the truth of this statement, as I’ve come to crave pâté weekly whereas this time last year, I would have ixnayed the oughthay.
Be a Renegade
John Durant points out in The Paleo Manifesto that our aversions to the consumption of organ meats are “largely cultural, in the same way that sushi was considered repulsive before embraced by Western palates,” (123). So the cute modern caveman is basically saying, “Don’t give into social pressures. Be cool and eat up that liver!”
Let’s Do This
I’m excited for you to get started on aiming for nutrient density, modifying your palates, and being renegades. Your health, after all, is so worth it!
Think of this Chicken Liver Pâté 101 as just a delicious, savoury spread. The addition of cooked chicken tempers that liver-y flavour about which some of you may worry.
As you can see from the picture, my new fave way to eat pâté is by putting a nutrient-dense spin on the traditional Ants-on-a-Log. And, if we’re going to be rebels here, then Ants-on-a-Log are totally bad-ass.
Chicken Liver Pâté 101 (AIP, Paleo, SCD)
Recipe type: Snacks
- 1 tbsp. EVOO
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 slices bacon, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1 tbsp. fresh marjoram, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
- ½ lb. chicken livers, chopped
- 1 c cooked chicken, chopped (great for leftovers!)
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar (use apple cider vinegar for SCD)
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
- 2-3 tbsp. stock or water, as needed
- Heat oil in large skillet. Add onion and bacon. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is tender.
- Add garlic, thyme, and marjoram. Allow to cook for 1 minute further.
- Add chicken livers and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until livers are barely pink inside when cut.
- Transfer contents of skillet to a food processor. Process with the 1 cup of cooked chicken, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, and stock (as needed) until smooth. Add parsley and continue to pulse until combined.
- Spoon into a ceramic or glass dish and chill until ready to serve. Alternatively, you can freeze individual portions in 4 oz mason jars.