“Nothing is better for big-party entertaining than putting toppings on bread,” says Tamar Adler. She and her brother, John Adler, slice and toast bread rounds, then top them with whatever ingredients inspire them, like this chicken-liver pâté. John makes it by pureeing sautéed livers with onions, anchovies and Marsala, then blending them with crème fraîche until smooth and creamy.
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2 pounds chicken livers, trimmed
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups Marsala
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large white onions, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced, plus more for rubbing
1/3 cup drained capers
10 oil-packed anchovy fillets, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped sage
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme
1/2 cup crème fraîche
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
60 toasted baguette rounds
Coarse sea salt, for serving
How to Make It
Season the chicken livers with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Add half of the livers and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until just barely pink within, 6 minutes. Transfer the livers to a bowl and repeat with the remaining livers and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Add 1 cup of the Marsala to the skillet and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, 8 minutes.
Add the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil to the skillet along with the butter. Add the onions and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the capers, anchovies, sage, rosemary and thyme and cook for 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of Marsala and cook until nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
Transfer the onion mixture and livers to a food processor. Add the crème fraîche and vinegar and puree until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until chilled.
Rub the toasts on one side with garlic, spread the chicken liver pâté on top, sprinkle with sea salt and serve.
The pâté can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. The toasts can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Rich, earthy chicken livers pair exceptionally well with bright, focused red Burgundy, which often has a little earthiness of its own.
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