French Classics: Parfait

A slice of fresh bread spread with a rich, creamy, comforting liver paté can make a beautiful supper as long as you avoid the pre-packed “French” supermarket fare. Just do it yourself! It’s easy, it’s ten times better and it makes you feel good and skilled. Here’s a perfect home-made Parfait de foies de volaille:

Perfect Parfait: a liver spread for special days.

What do you need? Here’s your shopping list: 300 gr. chicken liver, 150 gr. best salted butter (demi-sel), 2 shallots (or 1 white onion), 2 cl Cognac (or brown rum), 6 cl + 15 cl Port wine (or medium-dry Sherry or Noilly-Prat), 1 sheet of gelatine, 4 juniper berries, olive oil, salt, pepper. Here’s how it’s done:

Cut the shallots coarsely and let melt in a pan with some olive oil. Once they’re glassy, add the chicken liver, stir well until the meat is cooked and shows a nice brown colour. Crush the juniper berries and add them to the pan, add some pepper, too. While getting there your pan looks like this:

You'll be done soon: chicken liver & co.

As soon as the liver is brown and cooked, add the Cognac (or rum) and flambé. The liquid (and the fire) will be gone in seconds. Now add the first 6cl Port wine (or whatever you prefer) and let cook. This is how your pan will look:

Flavours coming together: will this really turn into a parfait?

Once the liquid has turned into kind of a sirup, turn off the heat, and let stand until the liver is only luke warm. Pour the pan’s load into a mixer and add the cold butter, cut in pieces. Mix. Taste. Season carefully (you might feel the need for some more salt or pepper but don’t exaggerate). Bring the paté into a nice bowl, hit it on the table for several times to get out any pockets of air. Let cool.

Now prepare a jelly to cover it (which also hinders oxidation). Soak the gelatine sheet in cold water. Heat the rest of the Port wine (or Sherry or Noilly-Prat), stir in the gelatine. Pour the liquid on the paté, covering it entirely, don’t forget to adding some decoration like a laurel sheet, pepper corns, juniper berries. Cool in the fridge for several hours or overnight. Congratulations! You’ve made it! A real French Parfait de foies de volaille!

Find the fact sheet of this recipe in the recipe’s section.

Parfait, one minute after serving: almost gone.


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