“Wit ought to be a glorious treat like caviar; never spread it about like marmalade.”
Noel Coward, Playwright, 1899 -1973
It is usually Matt and I who create the evening entertainment whilst on holiday. Being closet Red Coats, with a desire to be Davine McCall and Dermot O’Leary, we devise competitions which the children can compete in during the day and be presented with an award at the end-of-holiday ceremony. However, it normally ends up with the two of us competing for the limelight; which Matt usually wins with his unequivocal wit and jocular jokes. “My dog has no nose. How does it smell? Awful” It’s the way he tells them.
This is Matt’s favourite starter of all time, so I decided to search for the star recipe I can make at home.
455g (1lb) chicken livers, trimmed and rinsed * 90ml (3 floz) brandy * 85g (3oz) unsalted butter, chopped * 1 onion, finely chopped, 1 garlic clove, crushed * 1 tsp thyme, chopped * 60ml (2 floz) double cream * salt & freshly ground pepper
Put the chicken livers and brandy in a bowl, cover and leave to marinate for a couple of hours. Drain the livers and reserve the brandy. Melt half of the butter in a frying pan, add the onion and garlic, then cook over a low heat until the onion is soft, but not brown. Add the livers and thyme, stir over a moderate heat until the livers change colour. Add the reserved brandy and simmer for 2 minutes. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
Blend the livers and liquid in a food processor until smooth. Add the remaining butter, and process again until smooth. If you prefer your pâté coarser, you can mash the livers and butter with a fork and stir. You can put it through a sieve if you prefer it to be a little bit smoother. Pour the cream and process (or mix in depending on coarseness required). Season the pâté and smooth into a serving terrine, smoothing the surface. Put into the fridge to chill until firm. This is a perfect starter to make in advance. Simply add some melted butter over the top and leave to set, ready for serving, with crusty bread.
I have collated all my favourite recipes into one book FOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS.
There are more recipes in the section THE FRENCH COLLECTION, a selection of authentic French recipes.
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