This is a take on a traditional chicken liver crostini: we've added some Madeira for extra flavour and kept the texture of the pâté coarse and rustic. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.
- 200 ml Madeira
- 2 golden shallots, coarsely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
- 2 thyme sprigs, plus extra to serve
- 250 gm salted butter, coarsely chopped
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 rindless bacon rashers, coarsely chopped
- 600 gm chicken livers, cleaned of sinew, soaked in 300ml milk overnight, drained
- 200 gm lard (see note) or butter, melted, at room temperature, for sealing
- 1 baguette
- For brushing: extra-virgin oilve oil
- 1Bring Madeira, shallots, garlic and thyme to the boil in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until reduced to 20ml (15-25 minutes). Discard thyme and set aside.
- 2Heat 80gm butter in a large frying pan. Add onion and bacon and stir occasionally over medium heat until onion is soft (6-8 minutes). Add liver and turn occasionally without browning until livers are cooked to medium (4-5 minutes). Cool slightly, then transfer livers to a food processor using a slotted spoon, discarding pan juices. Process with Madeira reduction until a coarse paste forms, add remaining salted butter and process until combined, season to taste, divide among four 250ml-capacity ramekins and refrigerate until set (3-4 hours). Pour melted lard or butter over and refrigerate again until set (1-2 hours).
- 3Preheat a chargrill over high heat. Thinly slice baguette, brush with oil and grill, turning once, until golden and crisp (2-4 minutes). Serve with chicken liver pâté.
Note To render lard, place some chopped pork back fat into a saucepan, add enough water to come 2cm up sides of the pan. Cook very slowly over low heat until the fat renders, strain and refrigerate until set. Alternatively, use melted butter or duck fat.