chicken liver pate

400 g chicken livers, trimmed and cleaned
8 shallots, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 sprig of thyme
50 ml Armagnac
100 ml dry Madeira
100 ml port
400 g unsalted butter, plus 1 teaspoon
5 eggs
melted butter to seal
salt and freshly ground white pepper

The pâté must be made at least 1 day in advance

Preheat the oven to 150C

In a medium saucepan, sweat the chopped shallots and garlic in 1 teaspoon butter without colouring. Add the Armagnac, Madeira and port, bring to the boil and reduce the liquid by four-fifths. Set aside.

Melt the butter slowly in a small saucepan.

Purée the livers in a food processor for 1 minute, then add the cooked shallot and alcohol mixture. Add the eggs, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and lastly the melted butter.

Blend for a few seconds until the mixture is thoroughly amalgamated. Using the back of a ladle, force the mixture through a fine conical sieve into the terrine. Cover with buttered greaseproof paper.

Form a bain marie by puting the terrine into a roasting pan and pour in enough hot water to come three-quarters of the way up the sides of the terrine. Cook in the oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

To check if the pâté is cooked, insert a trussing needle into the centre for 2 seconds, then withdraw it; it should be hot and dry. Remove the cooked pâté from the oven and leave to cool at room temperature for 1-2 hours.

Seal with a little melted fat to prevent discoloration and allow to rest for 1 day.

Remove the fat from the surface of the pâté. If the top is still slightly grey, scrape off a fine layer with a teaspoon and smooth over. Dip the terrine into a bowl of hot water for a few seconds and turn out the pâté onto a chopping board. Dip the blade of a sharp knife into hot water and carve generous slices.

Serve with fresh toast and some red onion marmalade