FFWD: Chicken Liver Gâteaux With Pickled Onions

Chicken Liver Gâteau With Pickled Onions

It’s been an interesting month for us at French Fridays. Last week’s recipe caused controversy over technique; this week’s recipe provoked one of the liveliest Problems & Questions thread that we’ve ever had. Liver is a challenging ingredient for many and this recipe seemed doubly challenging for some because the chicken livers are blended into custard cakes. (Meat custard…mmm…)

The results, however, are wonderful, at least for those of us who love pâté. This isn’t the pâté of my youth, a hearty country version that my mother’s family used to bring to us (safeguarded in their carry on luggage) when they were visiting from Manitoba. That pâté, Del’s, is famous amongst those who grew up in St. Boniface and gets shipped around the world to nostalgic Franco-Manitobans. Dorie’s Chicken Liver Gâteau is a much lighter affair, with subtle hints of sage, thyme, and rosemary.

I elected to ‘lighten’ it even more by using a lower fat milk in place of the whole milk and heavy cream, but it’s still very rich. There are several eggs in this recipe (and that’s before you add more yolks). I also put the custard into smaller molds, since I was serving these as an appetizer. My mother suggested baking them in mini-muffin pans for a Christmas buffet. I’ll have to put a note in my calendar to remind me of this ’round about mid-November.

The onions take a very short time to prepare and after a day in the refrigerator, they’re addictive. It’s a little dangerous knowing how easy pickling can be. I have to be careful not to make too much, since we’re a two-person household. Or, I could just make them for the rest of the family, as I did this week.

The gâteau is meant to be plated on a bed of mixed greens, with the pickled onions on the side, but I served it on a plate with olives and herb crackers along with the onions. It made a lovely savoury appetizer plate and was absolutely not as scary as our P&Q conversation might have led you to expect.

You can find many other blogged descriptions of this week’s FFWD recipe here: Chicken Liver Gâteaux With Pickled Onions

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21 thoughts on “FFWD: Chicken Liver Gâteaux With Pickled Onions

  1. Teresa, what an absolutely lovely presentation of your Chicken Liver Gâteau with the pickled onions on top! So glad to read that you really enjoyed this recipe – I did not think that it was a “scary” recipe either and I did look at the link that you posted rom the Guardian – the recipe sounds delicious too (I bought double the amount of liver I needed too, just wanted a “back-up” in case I had to do the recipe over).
    Have a great weekend!

  2. Beautiful! I’m going to have to eat my leftovers with olives and crackers – that sounds like a nice treat. Even though I couldn’t get my husband to try even a tiny, tiny bite, I’m really glad we did this! I had no idea it would be so easy! And so very delicious.

  3. Lovely presentation, and I’m happy to hear that they worked with light milk as well. And I so agree with you about the onions. They were delicious and have so many possibilities. This recipe was worth it for that knowledge alone.

  4. You are right about how interactive FFWD has been lately- we are really pushing the envelope lately 🙂 I survived my trepidation and it really was a nice dish, but I am a fan of pate. Though I never tried to make it. I have to say that your photo is off the charts good. Great job !!

  5. I thought thi was pretty fun and absolutely loved the pickled onions. I did try it warm as suggested, but not sure about that. I’m sharing more today, so I’ll find out what others think. I posted a retro pâté that I made with the other half of the chicken livers.

  6. I loved this one too. I like how your served this on an appetizer plate with olives. I have one left, so I might do the same. Mini-muffin tins are great idea for tinier bites. Great thought, Teresa’s Mother! I made a chunkier pate with the leftover livers. Good thing I’m a fan.

  7. It looks lovely and I am glad making these brought back good memories. I will have to try making the onions again…not sure why mine were so awfully strong. I think I was more disappointed about them than the liver because I thought that was the one sure thing about this week’s dish. Oh, well, I am still glad I made it.

  8. You gave me a great idea, Teresa, because I would love to serve this as a salad at a dinner party but I believe the portions are too large for such a rich mixture. Mini-muffin tins would be perfect. I also agree that it is a delicious paté and will be using that on a buffet table or during cocktail hour. I found the onions easy to do and addictive. You and I pretty much came to the same conclusion on this week’s recipe.

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