Toasted bread topped with chicken liver pâté

Toasted bread topped with chicken liver pâté

Crostini con patè di fegatini di pollo

By
From
Tuscany
Makes
10–15 crostini
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

When our good friend Giancarlo Barbafieri’s cook, Daniela, kills a chicken they keep the liver in the freezer. When she has collected enough chicken livers she makes this pâté. This crostini con patè is made differently all over Tuscany. In my husband Giancarlo’s area, the crostini are called crostini neri, meaning ‘little black toasts’, and Vin Santo is added instead of white wine for a sweet touch. Some people add anchovies and leave out the salt; others hand chop the livers with the capers for a coarse finish (you can pulse them in a food processor if you wish). Daniela showed me a trick to soften the bread a little: she dipped each crostini in stock before topping it with pâté. A little fresh sage on top was a lovely addition by our son, Giorgio.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
100ml extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
8 sage leaves, roughly chopped
300g chicken livers
salt
freshly ground black pepper
100ml white wine or vin santo
50g capers in salt, well rinsed

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
1 country-style loaf
2-3 tablespoons Poached chicken & chicken stock, to dip the bread in, room-temperature
small handful freshly chopped sage, (optional)

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a medium, non-stick frying pan over a low heat. Add the onion and roughly chopped sage. Cook for around 10 minutes or until the onion is soft. Meanwhile, prepare the chicken livers by removing the tough connective tissue. Add the livers and seasoning and stir until they are browned all over. Pour in the wine or Vin Santo and continue to cook for 15–20 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half and the livers are cooked through.
  2. Put the mixture into a food processor with the capers and blend to a rough or smooth consistency, depending on how you like it. Taste and season again as necessary.
  3. To serve, make the crostini: preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut the bread into 1.5 cm- thick slices and lay them on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for around 5 minutes until lightly golden brown and crisp. Cut the bread into canape-sized pieces and dip one side of each piece briefly into a saucer of stock, then top with the pâté. (The bread shouldn’t become soggy – the stock just softens it a little as often slightly stale bread is used.) Scatter over the finely chopped sage (if using) and serve straight away.
Tags:
Italy
Italian
Caldesi
Tuscany
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