In Italian, fegatini means livers. This humble dish using left-over and inexpensive ingredients is found throughout Italy.
CROSTINI DI FEGATINI or CROSTINI TOSCANI
This is an ancient recipe from Pellegrino Artusi's 120 year old cookbook, Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well. Some believe the original recipe is from Florentine noblewoman, Catherine de Medici. When she married Henry II in 1533 she brought this family recipe with her to France where the French reinterpreted it to become what is now their recipe for foie gras. Artusi's recipe calls for chicken livers and because in Italy livers are often sold with hearts you can also add the hearts to the pate. I found this recipe online (www.emikodavies.com/blog/artusi-may-tuscan-chicken-liver-pate/ where measurements were added as Artusi simply lists ingredients, not amounts. I increased the recipe by half and added a few of my own ingredients (capers, anchovies, brandy) and this is what I came up with.
|Before serving I topped the pate with finely chopped chives.|
|Here are most of the ingredients for the pate.|
1 1/2 shallot, roughly chopped
1 stalk of celery, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
3 slices of pancetta, chopped
4 Tbsp. butter (or olive oil)
1 1/2 lbs. chicken livers, cleaned
1 cup chicken stock
About 8 pieces of dried porcini mushroom, soaked in warm water to soften and finely chopped
2 Tbsp. Panko bread crumbs
Juice of one lemon
3 Tbsp. brandy, bourbon, or cognac (I used brandy.)
4 drained anchovies
1 Tbsp. capers
Salt/Pepper to taste
Loaf of bread, such as a baguette for the crostini (day old is what they would use in Italy)
Finely chop the shallot, celery, carrot and parsley and saute these gently in pan with the pancetta in the butter.
Season with a pinch of salt. When the vegetables are soft, add the whole chicken livers and continue cooking, stirring occasionally to brown them, about 3-5 minutes. Add the brandy, if using, and watch as the brandy may flame up.
|Livers all cleaned and porcini mushrooms soaking.|
In the meantime slice the baguette in 1/2 inch pieces and gently warm in a low oven until dry to the touch. You can make the pate a day ahead of time. It keeps well in the fridge for 5-7 days.
ONION AND APRICOT JAM
1 cup shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup leek, white part only, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. vegetable or other mild oil
1/4 cup white wine
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. honey
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. Apple Cider vinegar
4 Tbsp. chicken stock
1/2 cup dried apricots, sliced
1/4 cup water, more or less
Saute shallot and leek in oil over medium high heat until tender and slightly caramelized, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce to a low simmer. Add white wine, lemon juice, honey, sugar, vinegar, chicken stock and apricots. Cook gently for another 10 minutes until all ingredients are well combined. Add water by the tablespoon to loosen jam to desired consistency.
PATE IS A PERFECT STARTER FOR ANY OCCASION
AND IT WAS A BIG HIT AT THIS YEAR'S
LIMONCELLO and LEMON SORBET