Bourbon Pate with Blackberry Chutney Tartlets

Serve 6 as an appetizer

Bourbon Pate with Blackberry Chutney Tartlets and Spiced Bourbon Peaches

My initial experience with the flavors of classical French pate was at a small outdoor café in the town square of Mons, Belgium. I returned several times that week to enjoy the savory meatiness and left Mons determined to create the ultimate pate. The recipe below presents my endeavors to find the perfect complementary flavors of earthy meatiness and sweetness. Replacing the usual cognac or brandy with bourbon provides a bolder spirit presence. The inclusion of three herbs – thyme, sage and oregano – in small amounts contributes a woodsy influence without overpowering the final flavors. Be patient with the flavors. Allowing the pate to age over several days prior to serving increases the characteristic earthiness. Elevated pate deserves an elevated presentation. Spread on Blackberry Chutney Tartlets and topped with a smear of Spiced Bourbon Peaches provides a counter balance of savory, sweet and spiciness. The recipes for both can be found below the pate recipe as well as here:

Blackberry Chutney Tartlets

Spiced Bourbon Peaches

½ pound chicken livers
1 T bourbon, Buffalo Trace
4 T unsalted butter
1/3 c onion, finely chopped
3 T finely chopped shallots
½ t garlic, minced
1/2 t fresh thyme, chopped
½ t fresh sage, chopped
¼ t oregano, chopped
¼ t salt
1/8 t freshly ground black pepper
3 T ghee (clarified butter)
6 small fresh thyme sprigs
6 tiny fresh sage leaves

Flavor Tier 1

Rinse chicken livers. Pat dry. Trim fat from livers. Place in bowl and add the bourbon. Mix to distribute. Set aside.

Flavor Tier 2

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not brown. Add thyme, sage, oregano, salt, pepper and livers. Cook until livers are cooked outside but still pink inside, 6-8 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Place in food processor and puree until smooth. Fill 6 small, individual size ramekins with pate and smooth top. (Pate can also be placed in one larger crock or pate mold.)

Flavor Tier 3

Melt ghee in small saucepan or in microwave. Carefully pour ½ tablespoon of the ghee over the pate in each dish. Place lace a thyme spring and sage leaf atop the pate, settling into the ghee. (If using one dish, lay on top of ghee in decorative pattern.) Place pate in refrigerator and chill until butter is solid. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill at least 2 hours. Aging the pate for several days allows the flavors to meld. The pate can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. However, once the ghee is broken, eat within a week. The pate can also be frozen up to a month. Bring to room temperature to serve.