With a sage and clarified butter topping
- 300 g butter, softened
- olive oil
- 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped or half a small onion
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 400 g higher-welfare chicken livers, trimmed
- a few sprigs fresh sage, leaves picked
- 1 small wineglass brandy
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pinch ground mace (or a couple of grids of nutmeg)
- Preheat the oven to 110ºC/225ºF/gas ¼. Put half the butter in an ovenproof saucepan and pop it in the oven to slowly melt until it’s separated – this will take about 10 minutes. Strain the yellow clarified butter through 2 pieces of kitchen towel in a sieve into a separate bowl and set aside to cool. Discard the remaining milky-coloured butter.
- Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, about a tablespoons worth. Slowly fry the shallots (or onion) and garlic for 10 minutes, until soft and tender, then remove to a plate.
- Wipe the pan clean with some kitchen roll, turn up the heat to medium and add a knob of butter from the remaining non clarified butter then throw in the livers and most of the sage. Cook the livers for a two or three minutes on each side, until lightly coloured but still a little pink in the middl, you need to keep tuning them over – if you overcook them they will lose their smooth texture and become grainy.
- Turn up the heat to high and pour in the brandy. If you’re using a gas hob you can flame it until the alcohol cooks off, but watch your hair! Simmer for just a minute or so untill there is very little liquid, or none left, then take the livers off the heat and tip them into a food processor with the cooked shallots and garlic. Blitz immediatly until you have a smooth purée. Add the rest of the softened butter (it can still be a bit hard as the heat from the livers will melt it, just make sure it is all mixed in) and continue to blitz, then season well with salt and pepper and add the mace (or nutmeg).
- Transfer the mixture to a one serving bowl if serving for 4 – 6 people at one time or divide into 3 ramekins if you want to keep dipping into the fridge for snacks..
- Sprinkle the remaining sage leaves over the parfait, then spoon over the clarified butter. Leave the parfait to set in the fridge for 1 hour. It will taste beautiful straight away, but it’s even better if the flavours are left to develop for a couple of days. If the butter seal isn’t disturbed it should last as long as two weeks.
- When you are ready to serve, thick, hot wholemeal toast is my favourite but a baggette or crackers work just as well. No need for extra butter this is creamy enough !!!
Very rich and very good.