Chicken liver parfait with shallot chutney and melba toast

This makes an impressive prepare-ahead dinner party recipe. Have the parfait and chutney ready and you just need to make the melba toast at the last-minute.


For the chicken liver parfait
  • 175g/6oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 500g/1lb 2oz chicken livers, trimmed
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 sprigs thyme, leaves only
  • 3 tbsp Madeira wine
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 200g/7oz clarified butter
  • 2 tsp chopped chives, to garnish
For the shallot chutney
  • 50g/1¾oz butter
  • 8 banana shallots, peeled and cut into rings
  • 75g/2½oz dark brown sugar
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 200ml/7fl oz balsamic vinegar
For the melba toast
  • 8 slices white bread, crusts removed
To garnish
  • 4 tbsp basil cress

Preparation method

  1. For the chicken liver parfait, line a loaf tin with cling film.

  2. Heat one tablespoon of the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the chicken livers. Fry for 1-2 minutes, or until just golden-brown.

  3. Add the garlic, thyme and Madeira. Fry the chicken livers in the mixture for a further 1-2 minutes.

  4. Transfer the mixture to a food processor, add the remaining butter and blend to a smooth paste. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  5. Spoon the parfait mixture into the lined loaf tin, pour over the clarified butter and top with the chives. Chill in the fridge for at least three hours, or until set.

  6. For the shallot chutney, place the butter in a large frying pan and heat until melted. Add the shallots, cover and cook on a low heat until the shallots have softened and caramelised.

  7. Add the sugar, thyme and vinegar and cook for a further 10 minutes.

  8. For the melba toast, preheat the grill to its highest setting.

  9. Place four of the slices of bread onto a baking tray and toast for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until crisp and golden-brown on both sides.

  10. Slice the toast horizontally and return the toast to the baking tray, soft-sides facing upwards. Grill for 1-2 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown.

  11. Repeat the process with the remaining four slices of bread. Cut each slice of Melba toast into four triangles.

  12. To serve, place a quenelle (or a slice) of parfait onto each of four plates and serve with the chutney and melba toast. Garnish with basil cress.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

Over 2 hours preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 4

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