Duck Liver Pâté

On rare occasions I get duck liver from Stokesberry Farm, I make pâté.

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This simple recipe is adapted from Jacques Pepin’s Kitchen: Cooking with Claudine

Ingredients:

  • 1 duck liver (about 3 ounces), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 ounces duck fat
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and coarsely chopped (2 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 teaspoon Cognac
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Place duck fat in a skillet, and cook over medium to high heat for 4 to 5 minutes, until the fat has melted and some of it has browned.
  2. Add the shallots, and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the liver, herbes de Provence, and garlic, and cook over medium to high heat for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a blender, add the Cognac, and blend until liquefied. If a finer textured pâté is desired, push the mixture through the holes of a strainer with a spoon. This will yield 1/2 cup.
  6. Let cool for at least 1 1/2 hours, then cover and and refrigerate until serving time.
  7. Spread the pâté on toasted baguette or, as part of a charcuterie plate with cornichon.

To achieve a creamier texture, simply add more duck fat or 1 tablespoon of heavy cream during the blending process. The pâté will keep, well covered, for 3 to 4 days.

Several weeks ago I received a powerful message from our farmer Janelle – I would like to share:

Lately I have had a few people tell me they are having digestive issues and are going to try chicken bone broth to help heal it. I got to thinking about healing. I realized that I believe in the healing power of the body. Here is why:

Every so often I get a chicken that is fat and healthy as all the others in the flock and has a broken wing. Not just a wing that was broken a few days ago, but one that has been broken for weeks or longer. I know this because there is no more bruising, no more redness, no sign of infection, AND the bone is sticking out: through the skin, past the feathers, and is dry. The skin is tight around the exposed bone and it may be thickened, but here is a bird that fractured its wing and has healed and has stayed healthy all the while fighting the germs found in their environment. I am sure the use of the wing beyond the break is gone, but what amazes me is the healing power of that chicken’s body. They are not put in isolation or given antibiotics; they just heal and keep living.

I am not suggesting that healing is simple. Just the opposite. I know it is an amazing feat, but I figure if chickens can do it in some cases, perhaps humans can, too. These lovely chickens help me to see just how amazing our bodies are, and that all bodies (including ours) are constantly working on healing themselves. Somehow that is comforting to me.

Happy cooking!

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