It all starts with the chickens, and our chickens usually start out at Elmwood Stock Farm in fresh pasture with their chicken tractor nearby, as seen above. When I was growing up on our wonderful Wayne County farm, at least three people always enjoyed a bite of the single small liver from our own chicken, served either baked or fried on Sunday. To have all the chicken livers one wants - heaven.
That's pretty much how my mother and younger brother have always treated my husband's chicken liver paté. Steve grew up with paté in a Jewish community in Lawrence, Massachusetts. As an adult, he has taught himself to make a naturally sweet, slightly chunky version with a stack of flavor layers and a luscious mouth feel. His paté delighted my south central Kentucky family of Baptists over and over. And me, too.
Sidebar family stories...At my first wedding, way before my present Main Man had appeared in my life, guests were already arriving at the farm as my future first husband's aunt, dressed in a fine yellow dress, stood calmly on the back porch, spreading my mother's homemade paté on trimmed bread slices. We were a bit behind with the food for the handmade wedding, but Mother and my sweet aunt-to-be made sure the guests got their chicken livers. Many years later, when no foods appealed to Mother, if we pressed hard, she would request two foods: Steve's chicken liver paté, and fried oysters. We could, at times, meet the chicken liver request, and in "R" months, sometimes even fulfilled the oyster wish. Chicken liver love - a deep strand in both Steve's family and mine. However the cultural lines crossed back in the mists of time, both our families cherished chicken liver paté.
Recently handsome younger brother, perhaps tired of begging for paté from our family's single source, and capable of cooking anything he wants, said, "Give us the recipe." And here is Steve's response.
Steve's Chicken Liver Paté
1 lb chicken livers
1 large egg
1 cup (approx) mayonnaise (usually homemade, and otherwise Hellman's)
½ Tablespoon each dried dill weed, tarragon, mint
1 Tablespoon dry mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse and clean the chicken livers. Place the livers and the egg in a 2-3 quart pot with water to cover amply. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 (or so) minutes. Drain. Place the egg in cold water. Place the livers in a chopping bowl on a chopping board. Chop well.
Peel egg. Chop finely and add to livers.
Cut off and discard the root end and dry or damaged parts of the scallions. Chop remainder finely.
Add scallions and remaining ingredients, and blend well.
*Note: Steve believes nothing suits his paté like a Town House style cracker - something flaky, buttery, slightly sweet. Some of us contrarians also enjoy the paté with Triscuits and on celery sticks. And now since our whole household avoids gluten, we use rice crackers and veggie sticks: celery, watermelon radish, carrots, sweet red pepper.