Chicken liver parfait with apple & saffron chutney
- Preparation and cooking time
- Plus overnight soaking and chilling
- A challenge
- Makes 8 x 100ml ramekins
- 300g fresh chicken livers
- 200ml milk
- 3 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
- 75g butter , cut into large cubes
- 2 tsp sea salt
For the reduction
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 shallots , thinly sliced
- 1 bay leaf , torn
- 3sprigs thyme
- 1sprig rosemary , roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp white peppercorn , coarsely crushed
- 5 tbsp cognac
- 150ml ruby port
- 150ml madeira
To seal the parfaits
- 200g unsalted butter
- pinch grated nutmeg
- 1sprig rosemary , leaves chopped
- 3large sprigs thyme , leaves only
For the chutney
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 shallots , finely chopped
- thumb-size piece fresh ginger , peeled and finely chopped
- large pinch saffron strands
- 100g caster sugar
- 5 tbsp white balsamic vinegar or cider vinegar
- 2 eating apples , peeled, cored and chopped
- STEP 1
Soak the livers overnight in milk to remove any bitterness. Drain well in a colander. To make the reduction, heat the oil in a sauté pan and fry shallots, herbs and peppercorns for 3-5 mins until the shallots are starting to soften. Add the Cognac and carefully flambé by tipping the pan towards the flame, or use a match.
- STEP 2
Once the flames have subsided, boil the Cognac for a few secs until it reduces down to a couple of tbsp. Add the port and madeira together and boil again for about 10 mins, or until reduced by two thirds. Leave to cool slightly so it’s not piping hot.
- STEP 3
Add the livers, eggs, egg yolks and butter into the reduction and stir gently. Once the butter has almost melted, add the salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to a blender and blitz for 2 mins or until smooth, scraping the sides down. Strain into a jug; rub the mix against the sieve with the back of a ladle. Discard any sinewy bits left behind.
- STEP 4
Check seasoning, then pour into eight 100ml ovenproof ramekins. Heat the oven to 110C/fan 90C/gas ¼. Line a heatproof pan with four layers of kitchen towel and sit the ramekins on top. Pour very hot, but not boiling, water into the pan
- STEP 5
Test if the parfaits are ready by tilting one of them to the side – the parfait mix should just bulge slightly at the edge of the ramekin and gently wobble in the middle when shaken gently. (Don’t forget that it will keep on cooking as it cools.) Remove the ramekins from the pan, cool then chill for at least 4 hrs or until set.
- STEP 6
Seal the parfaits with butter. Melt the butter in a pan but do not let boil. Whisk in the nutmeg, rosemary and half the thyme leaves. Taste butter for seasoning, then spoon over the parfait tops, sprinkle with the reserved thyme to decorate and return to the fridge to set. Will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- STEP 7
Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the shallots, ginger and a good pinch of sea salt, then fry for 3 mins. Crumble in the saffron, sprinkle in the sugar and carry on cooking for few mins until the sugar melts and starts to caramelise, stirring all the time.
- STEP 8
Tip in the vinegar and apples, then cook for 5 mins until the apples are just softened and coated in a syrupy sauce. Cool and serve. Can be spooned into an airtight container and kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.