Personally, I LOVE liver, especially as pâté.
Pâté is on the menu for every holiday and special occasion I cook for. If it is offered at a restaurant, I order it. I love the silky mouth-feel that turns many people off from liver. There's something about it that just screams decadence...and I heartily answer the call.
I think of liver as a superfood. When I'm feeling energetically rundown, it's the first food on my list to replenish myself with. Pâté is one of my go-to recipes for nourishing my loved ones after childbirth or surgery (if they'll eat it). Liver is an excellent source of iron, making it on the list for my clients with heavy menstrual flow or iron-deficiency anemia. It's also an awesome source of vitamins A and D, it's also a tonic for the immune system.
When buying liver, you want to pay extra close attention to the sourcing. In all animals, the liver manages the toxic burden, transforming and packaging chemicals like fertilizers and pesticides, medications like antibiotics and everything else the animal breathes and swallows. Look for free-range, organic and/or pasture-raised options. Best yet: connect with a farmer who can tell you everything about what their animals eat, drink and breathe.
Most pâté recipes include cream and butter. This dairy-free version uses duck fat to keep the creaminess, while bringing sherry in for a splash of brightness. Serve with crudité and seeded crackers in the backyard this spring and imagine you're sipping wine on the sidewalk in France.
Makes many servings - freeze what you don't eat in 3 days in quarter pint jars for up to 6 months
- 4 Tbsp duck fat or schmaltz (chicken fat), separated
- 1 vidalia onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb free range, organic chicken livers
- 2 Tbsp dry sherry
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1-2 Tbsp duck fat and melt.
- Sauté onions and garlic until translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir often to prevent browning. Remove to a food processor bowl.
- Return the skillet to the heat. Add 1 Tbsp duck fat and melt.
- Add livers to the skillet in a single layer, keep them from touching. Cook for 3 minutes, then flip over and cook 2-3 minutes longer. The outside of the livers will be browned, but the insides should remain pink. Remove to the food processor bowl.
- Turn the heat off on your stove. Add sherry to the skillet and scrap to deglaze. Add contents to the food processor bowl, with the salt and dried herbs.
- Blend in your food processor until smooth. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Jesse Haas, CNS, LN is a licensed functional nutritionist and certified health coach. She was a founding partner of Wellness Minneapolis and was an active practitioner with the clinic from 2014-2022. To connect with her regarding functional nutrition and health coaching services, please follow this link.