Saturday, 27 October 2012

Chicken Liver Parfait Recipe



I made the best parfait yesterday! I'm so excited about it. Normally a fan of the pate and parfaits that you can get a local Deli's, I was tempted to make this recipe from Billy Law's (Masterchef contestant)'s website A Table for Two. Especially since it sounds so easy and the ingredients so easy to find. Although I love Masterchef and other similar franchises, I find a lot of the ingredients in their recipe very expensive or very hard to find. In this recipe, besides the chicken liver (which are not easy to find in Supermarkets, you'll have to try your local butcher about 5 dollars/kg), all the other ingredients are often stored at home or easily found in supermarkets.

The taste of this parfait is just divine. It tastes as good if not better than lot of the parfaits and pates available on the market at the moment. Only after I made this parfait did I realise that the commercial products they charge on the market is way over priced. What I made here cost between 5-10 dollars and there is probably about 400 grams there.

Anyway, below is my slightly altered version of Billy Law's recipe. All credits go to him.

Chicken Liver Parfait Recipe
(Makes 4 - 6 small round ramekins or 2 rectangular ramekins)
Time: 45 minutes.

Ingredients
500g chicken livers
500ml full cream milk
150g unsalted butter (for blending with liver)
25g unsalted butter (for cooking)
1 large eshallot onions, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 sprig of thyme
1 fresh bay leaf (I used dried bay leaf)
2 tablespoon Olive Oil
25ml Cognac or brandy (I used brandy as that was what was in my pantry)
100g Cream
1 teaspoon of salt
Freshly cracked pepper to taste
50g unsalted butter, melted (to seal the parfait)

Method 

1. Clean the chicken livers, trim off any sinew and cut roughly into smaller pieces of approx 2cm.
2. Soak the chicken liver in milk and thyme and bay leaf. Billy Law suggested soaking for
6 hours but due to lack of time, I probably only soaked for 4 hours. Not really sure what the role of the milk is...
3. Clarify butter by melting butter in a saucepan under low medium heat. The butter will separate into three layers, with impurities on top (they look like little white floaties). Using a spoon, remove as much impurities as possible then set butter aside to cool.
4. After soaking, strain the milk off and keep the thyme and bay leaf. Pat chicken livers dry with
paper towel (otherwise it'll splash like crazy when you fry them).
5. Heat a large frying pan with olive oil and seal livers on both sides. Billy suggested cooking the liver until firm but pink inside. But I didn't want to eat offal that is only semi cooked so I made sure they were well cooked in the next step.
6. In the same pan, melt 25g of butter and sauteed the eschallot and garlic until they are soft
and translucent, return the livers to the pan with the thyme and bay leaf. Pour in brandy and
flambe (I only poured in the brandy, was not game enough to flambe and also didn't have matches).
7. Allow livers to cool
8. Place contents of the pan into a blender with the cream, clarified butter, season with salt and pepper and blend till smooth.
9. Once parfait is smooth, add another table spoon of Brandy.
10. Pour parfait into ramekins or bowls (whatever you like. Probably something rectangular is better) and decorate the top with sprigs of thyme and a few peppercorns.
11. Melt remaining butter and pour over parfait to seal.
12. Leave parfait in fridge at least over night to let flavours develop (Billy suggested a week but I think that's too long to go without trying it). It tasted just divine even after 1 night in the fridge.
13. Serve with crusty bread.

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