Chef Diego Jacquet is known for bringing his sexy brand of Argentinian cuisine to diners in Singapore and London where he helms the restaurants BoCHINche, ZOILO. But with two young kids at home he can well empathise with busy mums who have no time to slave over the stove. Here he shares a recipe for Crispy Chicken Skin and Chicken Liver Parfait that requires minimal fuss, can be prepped a day ahead and best of all, looks impressive to boot.
“In many ways we chefs have a lot in common with busy mums. After spending 15 hours in the kitchen, the last thing we want to do is to spend a lot of time cooking. For Christmas and festive occasions, I like a good buffet because it takes the pressure from the night. My advice is to have a good bar, some great wine, a simple aperitif like gin and tonic and just display them out with some juices. I always make sure there are nibbles such as vegetable crisps (just slice them, dry them well with a towel and them deep fry them at around 160 degrees to get them crispy) served with some dips, some good charcuterie and grilled vegetables. I always serve a meat such as a roast lamb as a centrepiece but to start I like to do something like this chicken liver parfait that you can serve with some nice sourdough toast and chutney that can be made a week before. The parfait can be prepared the day before and is really easy to put together.” – Diego Jacquet
Chicken Liver Parfait:
200g butter, melted
1kg chicken liver
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp brandy
4 tbsp double cream
500g chicken skin
Chicken Liver Parfait:
1. Clean the chicken liver, making sure to remove and discard any greenish or sinewy bits.
2. Heat two tablespoons of the melted butter in a heavy-based frying pan.
3. When the butter begins to foam, add the chicken liver to the hot pan.
4. Cook the liver gently for 3-4 minutes, carefully moving them around, but not allowing them to brown. (You may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your pan.)
5. Season the liver with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
6. Add brandy to the pan and carefully flame the brandy for a few seconds to burn off the alcohol.
7. Allow the livers to cool slightly.
8. Spoon the livers (excluding the cooking juices) into the bowl of a food processor and blend.
9. With the motor running, add most of the remaining melted butter in a steady stream.
10. Do not add the milk solids that will have sunk to the bottom of the pan.
11. With the motor still running, add the double cream and blend for a few more seconds. The liver mixture should be fairly smooth.
12. Pass the liver mixture through a sieve into a bowl, pushing the mixture through with a wooden spoon, discarding any hard bits that remain in the sieve (this will take about 10-15 minutes). This will make an ultra-smooth parfait.
13. Spoon the parfait into a terrine dish and smooth the surface with a knife, if necessary.
Sprinkle a few crushed peppercorns on top and pour over the remaining melted butter (about two tablespoons).
14. Place the parfait in the fridge to cool through and set firm for at least two hours.
1. Cut the chicken skin into half-palm sized pieces.
2. Roast the chicken skin pieces in the oven at 180c for 30 minutes until they become crispy.
*The chicken skin can be substituted with crackers or toasted bread.
1. Put grapes, sugar and water in a pot and boil it until the grapes break down and become soft.