Prep Time: 2 Hours
Yields: 25–30 Appetizer Servings
Borrowed from a favorite cousin, this rich, flavorful and inexpensive spread is simple to make and perfect for holiday or family gatherings. It can be prepared a day ahead, but for best flavor it should be consumed within a couple of days. As with all liver-based dishes, the flavor becomes more pronounced over time.
2 pounds chicken liver, rinsed and drained
8 strips bacon
salt and black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
2 bay leaves
6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ pound unsalted butter
¼ cup cognac or white wine
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a round ovenproof casserole dish with bacon. Add livers and season lightly with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Tuck bay leaves and garlic cloves in center of livers, cover and bake 45–60 minutes or until center temperature reaches 165°F. Remove from oven and cool until slightly warm, approximately 1 hour. Discard bay leaves and pour mixture, including liquid, into a food processor. Add cream cheese, butter and cognac and purée until mixture is smooth and cream cheese is well incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into decorative serving bowl, cover and chill a minimum of 4–6 hours prior to serving. Serve with crackers or French bread croutons.