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Chicken Liver Pâté with Toast

  • SERVINGS: MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  1. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  3. 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  4. 1/2 pound chicken livers, trimmed
  5. Kosher salt
  6. Quatre-épices (see Note)
  7. 1/4 cup Cognac or other brandy
  8. 1/2 baguette, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  9. Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
  1. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over moderate heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the onion and garlic to a food processor. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the same skillet. Add the chicken livers, season with salt and 1/2 teaspoon of quatre-épices and cook over high heat until nicely browned on the outside and still pink inside, about 5 minutes. Transfer the livers to the food processor.
  2. Add the Cognac to the skillet and simmer over high heat until reduced by one-third, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom, about 3 minutes. Add the Cognac to the processor and puree until smooth. Season generously with salt and quatre-épices. Pack the pâté into a small bowl, press a piece of plastic directly on the pâté and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°. Brush the baguette slices on both sides with olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the bread liberally with salt and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Serve the pâté with the toast.
Notes Quatre-épices is a French spice mix used for seasoning pâtés and terrines. You can make your own by blending 2 teaspoons of freshly ground pepper with 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg.
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