First of all, don’t worry about the length of cooking time, most of it is just chilling, resting time, you do not have to stand in the kitchen for long time and you will see that this recipe is absolutely not complicated. The final result will be amazingly delicious, incomparably better than any pâté or parfait what you can buy in the stores. You control all ingredients that go in, so it does not contain any preservatives, soy or flour, which are absolutely unnecessary in a parfait. It is so light, so creamy, make it once and you won’t regret it, you’ll want to make it all the time. I’m not a big fan of liver, but I really like this parfait, it’s one of my favorites for breakfast.
Why is it parfait? Because it’s perfect! “Parfait” is a French word, literally meaning “perfect”. Parfait is commonly used to describe a kind of frozen dessert but, the only connection between the dessert and liver parfait is that both of them are “perfect” and very delicious.
What is the difference between pâté, parfait and terrine? Pâté and parfait are usually made from liver, their texture is fine. Terrine is generally made from much chunkier meat like duck breast, minced pork or pork meat chunks. Paté and parfait can be made from any kind of liver, but duck or chicken livers are most commonly used.
The difference between pâté and parfait is that for a pâté you have to cook the livers in butter first, then purée them, but for a parfait you purée the raw livers first, then pass it through a fine sieve and finally cook in the oven in hot water bath (bain marie). I’ve used this method and I’ve got a smooth, silky texture without any little chunks.
The most important when making parfait, buy extra fresh liver! I used chicken liver because duck liver has slightly stronger flavor, but it works well too.
It is common to cover the parfait with a thin layer of melted butter to prevent its surface from oxidizing and it keeps for several days in the fridge. However, it’s not necessary if you eat all of it soon after chilling.
Chicken Liver Parfait
- Food processor
- 400 gram chicken liver fresh
- 300 ml almond milk
- 100 ml dry Marsala
- 100 ml Tokaji Aszú or Tawny Port
- 1 medium onion finely cut
- 1 tsp fresh thyme finely cut
- ½ tsp fresh rosemary finely cut
- 2 cloves garlic mashed
- 5 medium eggs
- 50 ml Tio Pepe dry sherry
- 400 gram butter
- 1½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper freshly ground
- 150 gram butter not necessary if you eat it soon after chilling
- Cut off fat or connective tissue and any trace of green from the livers and discard.
- Put them into a bowl and pour over with almond milk. Add ½ tsp salt and extra water in it if the almond milk does not completely cover the livers. Soak the livers at least one hour in the milk or overnight in the fridge. You can skip this point, but the milk makes the liver’s taste milder.
- Drain well and rinse the livers if you soaked them in milk.
- Preheat the oven to 150°C.
- Pour dry Marsala, Tokaji Aszú (or Port) into small pan, add onion, thyme, rosemary in it and boil it on high heat for 4-5 minutes until reduced by half.
- Add dry sherry and mashed garlic in it and boil it for half minute and remove from the stove to cool.
- Melt the butter on a very low heat, it has to melt very slowly without sizzle.
- Put the livers into food processor and pureé them for a minute.
- Add cold shallot, herbs and wine mixture and eggs in it and blend it 2-3 minutes, until smooth.
- Add melted butter in it slowly and 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper and blend it until silky.
- Pass this silky mixture through a fine sieve.
- Pour it into a (26 cm x 11 cm) terrine mould or a loaf pan.
- Place the terrine mould (or loaf pan) into a bigger roasting pan.
- Fill the roasting pan up with hot water until the 2/3 part of the terrine mould.
- Cover the terrine mould with parchment paper and bake the parfait for 50-55 minutes.
- Take out the parfait from the oven and leave to cool for minimum 2 hours.
- Melt 150 gr butter on very low heat and cover the top of the parfait with it.
- Cover with clingfilm and when the butter is cold, put it into the fridge.