If you decide to make this, ask your houseguests if they have ever had duck liver pate. If they say no, tell them, “then you are in for a treat!” You aren’t technically lying, because you didn’t say “this is duck liver pate”. And, you've just brightened their day because they get to tell their foodie friends that they just had duck liver pate.
The fact is, they might like this better. Duck liver has a stronger flavor to it. In addition to an extensive soak in milk to draw out the metallic flavors, I also decided to use a white wine instead of the traditional brandy, since the sweetness goes another step toward offsetting any bitterness. The result is rich and smooth, but liver is still an acquired taste.
1 pound chicken livers
2 cups milk
2 strips thick-cut bacon
4 large garlic cloves, cut in chunks
4 ounces white wine
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
Clarified butter for serving (optional)
1. Trim away and discard any fat and connective tissue from the livers. Mine also came with kidneys connected to them. I saved these for a future recipe.
2. Place livers in a sealable plastic container. Fill with enough milk to cover all the pieces. Refrigerate for 3 hours.
3. Drain the milk and rinse the chicken livers. THE SINK WILL FLOW WITH THE BLOOD OF THE CHICKEN LIVERS!! Sorry...I couldn't resist. Pat dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
4. Cut bacon into chunks and render in a large pan on medium heat. When mostly rendered, add the garlic chunks. Stir into the grease until browned and fragrant.
5. Add livers to the pan, stirring thoroughly to coat with the bacon-garlic mixture.
6. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the exterior of the livers is mostly changed from reddish to brown. Add wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to get any charred bits. Cook until the wine is mostly reduced. Add basil and cook for another two minutes.
7. Process in food processor with 2 tablespoons of butter until smooth. Refrigerate in sealed container overnight to allow flavors to deepen.
8. Transfer to serving bowl and smooth the top. Cover with plastic wrap, tight to the surface, to prevent discoloration until ready to serve. If desired, pour clarified butter over the surface of the pate, and refrigerate until the butter solidifies. Serve with crackers.