Prep Time: 1 hour plus proofing and chilling time
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 10 - 12
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With Christmas just around the corner, I thought I’d share my favourite chicken liver parfait recipe (it’s just a silky smooth luxurious pate, really) along with a spiced cranberry compote and homemade cute little brioche loaves.
I chose to do cranberry compote this time, given the season. One can find frozen cranberries at good supermarkets.  Look out for the Hillcrest frozen berry range. Usually, I simply play around with apple, pear, onion and of course, seasonal plums. All simply divine ingredients to use for a compote.
I particularly enjoyed this festive flavour combination with the nostalgic warm and fuzzy spices in the cranberry compote and of course, the sweetness and much needed tartness it provides to cut through the gloriously rich parfait and buttery brioche.

I will post an easy crowd pleasing dessert recipe tomorrow on my Instagram.  So keep an eye out 😉
And then, I’m officially switching off until 6 Jan 2019!

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and an incredible 2019!

Chicken Liver Parfait
Serves: at least 12 slices

Ingredients
500 g  free range chicken livers or diced free range duck livers
75 g butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) nutmeg
2 Tbsp (30 ml) brandy
1/4 c (60 ml) double cream
Freshly milled salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp (30 ml) butter, clarified*
a few sprigs of thyme for garnish

Method
In a large frying pan, heat the butter and sauté the onion, garlic, thyme and nutmeg until fragrant.
Add the livers and sauté over high heat for 5-8 minutes (they should still be pink inside but not bloody). Don’t overcook please 🙂
Add the brandy and if on a gas stove, flambé until the alcohol cooks out or simply simmer for 30 seconds.
Place the livers and onion etc. into a food processor. Strain the cooking juices through a fine sieve or muslin cloth (to remove any coagulated gritty bits) then add the cooking juices and cream to the food processor too.
[Side note: I didn’t need to strain the juices, I simply added all the ingredients of the pan into my Greenis Smart Power Blender and it worked a charm.  I usually find when using a normal food processor, one can’t achieve that super silky smooth texture without having to sieve the cooking juices and also possibly passing the pate mixture through a sieve again!]
Blend (I simply pulsed my mixture in the Greenis) until smooooooth. It probably took a minute or so. Nice hey?Season well to taste.
If not using a power blender,  pass blended mixture through a sieve – this is a little time consuming but it is so worth the extra effort.
Spoon into a cling wrap lined loaf tin or terrine dish.
Cover with a bit of clarified butter and garnish with a sprig of thyme. Season with Malden salt and pepper.
Chill for at least 2 hours. Best made the day before if possible to allow a good set.
Use a clean wet knife when cutting into thick slices or blocks.
Serve with freshly baked brioche and spiced cranberry compote.


Brioche Mini Loaves
Makes 10 – 12

Ingredients
3 ½ c (875 ml) cake flour
1 tsp (5 ml) instant yeast
2 tsp (10 ml) sugar
1 tsp (5 ml) malden salt
1/3 c (80 ml) warm milk
250 ml butter melted (warm)
4 large eggs, beaten

Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with a pinch of salt
Garnish: Fresh thyme leaves and Malden salt

Method
Sieve the flour and place into a large mixing bowl together with the yeast, sugar, salt, warm milk, warm butter and eggs. Mix well until all the ingredients come together ( I use the paddle attachment of my trusty old Kenwood Chef).
When the mixture is well combined. Knead for at at least 10 minutes until a soft dough is achieved with a bit of elasticity or bounce to it. Once again, I use my Kenwood dough hook attachment to achieve this. It is quite a sticky dough (due to all the butter, oh yeah!), so don’t stress. Leave in the bowl, cover with a tea towel and allow to proof for at least 1 hour.
With floured hands, knock down the dough and dived into 12 pieces. Shape and place into mini loaf tins. You should have enough for 10 – 12 depending on the size.  Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with thyme leaves and salt.
Allow to proof again for about an hour to allow then to increase in size slightly.
Bake in a preheated 180 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes – depending on size once again. Whatever you do, do not over-bake. Serve warm!
Tip: Roll into 12 little brioche rolls or knots if you don’t have mini loaf tins. Same baking time applies.


Spiced Cranberry Compote
Makes 500 ml

Ingredients

350 g frozen cranberries (thawed out, including the juices)
1 c (250 ml) brown sugar
1  1/2  c (375 ml) water
3 star anise
3 cassia sticks (cinnamon bark) or 1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves

Method
Place three quarters of the cranberries in a medium saucepan together with remaining ingredients.
Simmer gently until sugar dissolves. Then turn heat up a little more and simmer uncovered for about 25 minutes or until reduced and sticky.
Add the remaining cranberries and simmer gently for another 5 -10 minutes.
You can choose how far you would like this compote to be reduced.
Allow to cool before serving.

And there you have it. A super Festive AF starter. It seems like a lot of shit to do, but I promise you, it is so worth that little extra effort. Try and make the parfait the day before, so it sets really well.

C x


 

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Food consultant, recipe developer and stylist.

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