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