Chicken Liver Pâté
Adapted from Jacques Pepin
1 pound chicken livers
2/3 cup thinly sliced onions
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed (1/2 teaspoon)
2 bay leaves, crushed
1/4-teaspoon thyme leaves
1 cup water
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Cognac or Scotch whisky
A piece of tomato skin and green of scallion for decoration (optional)
1 envelope unflavored gelatin for aspic (optional)
Place the livers, onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, water, and 1-teaspoon salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook at a bare simmer for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes.
Take out the solids with a slotted spoon and place them in the bowl of a food processor with metal blade. (Reserve and strain the liquid to make the aspic.) Start processing the liver, adding the butter piece by piece. Finally, add the second teaspoon salt, the pepper, and Cognac or whisky and process for 2 more minutes so that the mixture is very creamy and completely smooth. If the mixture looks broken down, with visible fat, let it cool in the refrigerator for about 1 hour to harden the butter, then process again until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
Pour into a mold. Decorate or refrigerate to set and serve as is.