Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Chicken Liver Pate

Organ meats are a treasure trove of valuable nutrients. This is reflected in the reverent attention to organ meats in many traditional cultures. For millenia liver, heart, kidneys, glands and brain have been considered as the most prized cuts and were often saved to nurture the sick and the weak, pregnant women and nursing mothers. Unfortunately Americans, lacking in rich nutritional heritage, tend look down on organ meats with detest if not outright repulsion. That probably explains why organ meats are so hard to source in the States. They are just not in demand. But whenever I see chicken liver in our local Whole Foods, I buy as much as I can possibly consume. Here's why: chicken liver has high content of protein with complete list of all essential amino acids, minerals, such as selenium, iron, phosphorus, copper, zinc, and vitamins, such as A and B group, especially B12, and K2, which is essential for preventing atherosclerosis. It is also rich in cholesterol, but do not fret: we need cholesterol for healthy cell functions, plus K2 is there to take care of your serum cholesterol levels and not let them go haywire. I guess I made my point. If you are not yet convinced, check out this article on importance of vitamin A on human health and development.

This recipe is a powerhouse of A and K2:
  • one pound chicken liver, preferably from an organic pastured chicken
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 peppercorns crushed
  • 6 cloves crushed
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, quartered
  • 4-6 oz salted organic butter from grassfed cows (if not salted, just use salt to taste)
Take out butter from the fridge, cut into smaller chunks and let it soften at room temperature. (Do not heat or, God forbid, microwave!)

Put liver in a small pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. As the water starts to boil, reduce the flame and begin to skim and discard the froth that appears on the surface. Continue doing it until is no froth is floating on the surface. The water may look cloudy, but that's OK. 

Add spices and onion, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Take out liver pieces and let them cool a little. Also reserve 1/2 cup of broth, onion chunks and a few peppercorns.

Put butter in a blender, add liver pieces, broth, cooked onions and peppercorns and blend well. Pour into small serving vessels, cover, and put in the fridge to solidify. If you are not serving it to pregnant or nursing mother, and want to impress your guests, you may add a bit of brandy or cognac to spike the flavor. Traditionally it is served on crackers, but I spoon it straight up.

Suitable for Paleo and gluten-free diets, and Stage 2 GAPS protocol.

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