Don’t you hate it when you have a bag of chicken hearts in the fridge and you just don’t know what to do with them? After a bit of a BBQ Bonanaza (post on this to follow) one weekend I was left with a hefty sack of chicken hearts. They make a great pre-BBQ appetizer, skewered and marinaded in soy sauce but there’s only so much you can eat when you have 4.5 kg of pork shoulder on the coals.
Half of the hearts I cooked up Sichuan-style with some cabbage but the other half I decided to try to make paté with. There doesn’t seem to be any recipes for chicken heart paté so I just made up my own. I sat in the garden for a good hour and trimmed the fat off them all but I don’t think that’s necessary. Quantities are rough, just do it by eye and add more butter if it looks a little dry. You could also chuck in a couple of livers to help emulsify it, but I went with the method of splitting the hearts into two, blenderising the hell out of one portion and leaving the other slightly more chunky so that when mixed you get a nice creamy/chunky blend. Are you feeling sick yet?
Chicken hearts are kind of weird but trust me when I say this was good, the sherry adds a sweet note and spread atop a slice of brown bread with some capers, I couldn’t think of anything finer. A lot of Turkish shops do chicken hearts, or you can ask your butcher.
Chicken Heart Paté Ingredients
500g – 1kg chicken hearts
Marinade: red wine, red wine vinegar, olive oil, oregano, s&p, muscavado sugar
Marinade your hearts overnight if possible. Gently fry the onion until softened and then add the chicken hearts. They will give off a lot of liquid at this point, cook the hearts gently for about ten mins, if they’re overcooked they will become a bit rubbery. Strain off the hearts and onions and boil off the liquid, chuck in a few good glugs of sherry and 2-3 large knobs of butter. Put the hearts through the blender and pour in the liquid from the pan. Mix thoroughly, if it looks a little dry just add some more butter and refrigerate. I ate mine for over a week without getting food poisoning so I think it keeps fairly well.
Isabelle O'Carroll: I’m a writer, content designer and consultant with 11+ years’ experience across fashion, food and drink and the arts.