Parfait is a wonderful way to enjoy chicken liver. In this recipe we complement the silky, herb-infused meat with a brandy and green peppercorn jelly. Serve with melba toast and cornichons for an appetiser that’s sure to impress.
- 300 g chicken livers, trimmed of sinew
- 1 tbsp brandy
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 eschalots, chopped
- 50 g (about 3 thin slices) pancetta, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 125 ml (½ cup) chicken stock
- 125 ml (½ cup) thickened cream
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 200 g butter, melted, cooled, plus extra, to grease
- crusty bread and brioche, melba toast and cornichons, to serve
Brandy and green peppercorn jelly
- 60 ml (¼ cup) brandy
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp sherry vinegar
- 1½ tsp powdered gelatine
- 2 tsp green peppercorns in brine, drained
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time 15 minutes
Chilling time 2 hours
Preheat oven to 140°C. Pat livers dry with paper towel and place in a small bowl with brandy. Set aside for 15 minutes to marinate.
Heat oil in a saucepan over low heat. Cook eschalots, pancetta, garlic and thyme for 6 minutes or until pancetta is just golden. Add stock, increase heat to high and cook for 4 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Add cream and cook for a further 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by a third. Cool.
Blend chicken liver mixture in a blender until smooth. Add cream mixture, eggs and butter, and blend until smooth. Season with salt and freshly ground white pepper.
Strain mixture into a jug, discarding solids. Lightly grease 6 x 125 ml (½ cup) ramekins and place in a baking dish. Pour liver mixture into ramekins, leaving 5 mm at the top. Fill baking dish with enough boiling water to reach halfway up the side of the ramekins. Bake for 25 minutes or until just firm. Stand for 5 minutes, then refrigerate until cold.
To make jelly, heat brandy in a saucepan over medium heat for 3 minutes or until reduced by half. Stir in 2 tbsp water, honey and vinegar. Bring to the boil, then remove from heat. Dissolve gelatine with 1 tbsp boiling water and add to brandy mixture, then strain. Top each parfait with a few peppercorns then pour over jelly. Refrigerate for a further 2 hours or until jelly is set. Serve with toasted or untoasted bread, melba toast and cornichons.
As seen in Feast magazine, Feb 2012, Issue 6. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.
Photography by Janyon.