Pâté has got to be one of the most nutrient dense and delicious things you can regularly enjoy. Personally I don’t make it or eat it if I can’t find organic, pasture raised for ethical reasons. The choice is yours but things to consider are…
Why organic when it comes to chicken? Three reasons
- Free range is a loose term and can still mean heavy antibiotic use, cramped quarters and little time outside.
- Most chickens are fed grains with genetically modified corn and soy in their mix. Bad for them, us and the planet.
- Debeaking and caging is practiced in, scarily, the majority of chicken farming (egg farming rather than meat though). Organic pasture raised chooks, while sure, we do end up eating them, get to have a great life living on a farm and doing the do.
Seek out an ethical butcher and be sure to support humane agriculture. I go to GRUB in Sydney. This means you can put fears of ‘liver toxins’ to bed too, although it tends to be fatty tissue that stores toxins, not the liver itself, even though it’s the ‘processing plant’ of our bodies.
But isn’t too much vitamin A bad for me?
A common fear is that too much vitamin A is bad. High levels of synthetic vitamin A has been shown to be harmful, which led us to start condemning foods such as liver. It’s super sad because women who were pregnant were recommended to eat liver several times a week only a couple of generations ago. Vitamin A is a catalyst vitamin that helps us metabolise minerals and absorb water soluble vitamins. Many traditional cultures prized liver as the ultimate infant, post natal and convalescent food.
A serving of chicken liver paté, 100g, provides about 16000IU of Vitamin A and is packed with healthy fats, Vitamin B12 (best natural source). It’s up at the 100,000IU daily intake – so basically eating the whole batch of pate each day, that vitamin A can become an issue, so tuck in and enjoy! Many women with reproductive issues find their situation improves once they introduce liver into their diets, so it’s worth bringing back if you’ve not had some in a while – perhaps those traditional cultures were onto something! Little experiments of the self are the best! Speak to your practitioner and do your research if you fancy making an informed choice on your vitamin A sources and amounts.
(technical information sourced from, Eat Fat, Lose Fat, Sally Fallon and Dr Mary Enig)
Cook & prep time: 15 minutes
Makes 4 small bowls of pâté
What you’ll need
500g organic chicken livers
100g OR 1/2 cup butter – straight from the fridge is fine (use pork lard, tallow or coconut oil to do it dairy free)
1 rosemary sprig
50ml / 4 tbsp tomato passata or tinned chopped tomatoes
1 large onion, rough chopped
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 good tbsp dried cranberries or some sort of cranberry, plum or crab apple jam / jelly. Honey or Rice malt syrup will work too.
50ml chicken stock (veggie or beef stock totally fine too)
1/4 tsp salt
Optional jelly ‘top’.
2 tsp gelatin powder (I use Great Lakes)
1 cup water
1 tsp honey or rice malt syrup
1 bay leaf or a few pepercorns for garnish
What to do
If making your jelly ‘top’ (great for preserving the spare little pate bowls as you get through each over the week) then boil water, mix into your gelatin powder and syrup and allow to start cooling as you make the pate.
Fry your onions until soft, in 2 tbs butter
Add rosemary, livers and garlic and pan fry until browned each side about 7 minutes.
Add passata, chicken stock, rest of the butter and sweetness of choice, and pan fry on medium a further 5 minutes.
Turn heat off and blitz with your food processor, blender or stick blender which is what I used as my thermomix was dirty yesterday. Blitz until smooth.
Thermomix: You could sweat the onions for 3 minutes on Varoma Speed 1 with the butter, then add everything else and cook for 6 minutes speed 4, 90C.
Pop into 4 small bowls, jars or 1 bigger bowl or dish, if having people over and using as apetisers. Pour your jelly liquid over the top if you’re using it. It will set once super cold in the fridge.
Serve on carrot wheels, my ‘free from lots‘ crackers, celery sticks, buckwheat crisp breads, wholefood gluten free crackers like the “Mary’s gone crackers” brand or fresh sourdough if you’re not gluten intolerant (I am, and I just had a day dream about pate and sourdough and baguette…. and… back to reality! hehe)
If you make four little bowls and cover with the jelly, you can store for 2 weeks in the fridge. Once you’ve tucked into a bowl, 4 days in the fridge is fine. You can also freeze some a defrost at a later stage, up to 6 months.
I hope you enjoy it. It’s simple and quick and saves your bacon when you need a quick, nourishing meal in a minute!
Feeding babies tip: Pop a tsp or two of this into the veggie or meat / veg puree combo that you’re making for your little one – Be sure you’ve tested them for dairy allergy of course and make with coconut oil or macadamia oil or just a good intense chicken stock if you need to avoid dairy. This stuff is nutritional gold for those little growing bodies.
Real Food. Happy Bodies.