Chicken liver parfait with spiced apple chutney and Melba toast


For the chicken liver parfait
  • 175g/6oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 500g/1lb 2oz chicken livers, trimmed
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 basil leaves
  • 3 tbsp dry sherry
For the spiced apple chutney
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Granny Smith apples (or similar crunchy apples), chopped
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 3 tbsp alegar (vinegar made with ale) or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
For the Melba toast
  • 8 slices white bread, crusts removed

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, basil and sherry, then set the sherry alight with a match. Allow the flames to flare up and die down. (CAUTION: make sure the extractor fan is switched off and keep the pan away from the eyes, face and other objects.) 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 and chill in the fridge for at least three hours, or until set.

  6. For the spiced apple chutney, heat the oil in a separate frying pan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and fry for 1-2 minutes, or until softened.

  7. Add the apples, cinnamon and ground ginger, stir well and fry for a further 2-3 minutes, or until the apples have softened.

  8. Add the alegar (or balsamic vinegar) and the sugar and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the mixture has just thickened.

  9. Transfer half of the chutney mixture into a food processor and blend to a purée.

  10. Return the puréed chutney to the pan with the chunky chutney and stir until well combined. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  11. For the Melba toast, preheat the grill to its highest setting. 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.

  12. 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.

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

  14. To serve, place eight triangles of Melba toast into the centre of each serving plate. Place a thick slice of the chilled chicken liver parfait on either side of the toast. Spoon a little spiced apple chutney alongside.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

Overnight preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 4

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