Kitchen Culture: Foggy Ridge Chicken Liver Pâté with Cider-Ginger Gelee

by | Nov 13, 2015

Foggy Ridge Cider creates its quintessential cider by paying homage to cider’s past and present. The origin of the cidery begins with heirloom American apples like Harrison, Graniwinkle and Roxbury Russett blended with traditional English and French varieties.

Diane Flynt started Foggy Ridge with her orchard in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains in 1997. Once the seeds were planted and apples harvested, she began to craft cider with modern fermentation techniques.

Continuing on the thread of tradition, the company does not add hops or oak to any of their ciders for a true cider with flavor focused on the apples uniqueness, acidic and bitter notes before they are pressed and fermented. Simply stated, the apples harvested from her orchard are grown for specific flavors.

The cidery has six ciders on the market including the First Fruit, Stayman Winesap Cider, Pippin Gold and Serious Cider, the latter being the featured cider in this unctuous recipe.

Chef Joe Sparatta of Heritage in Richmond, Virginia created this dish as a collaboration with the cidery, tribute to the season and divergence from the default of serving pork with cider, which Flynt believes to be rather common. The food also rings close to home for Flynt who was often served this southern delicacy during her childhood in Georgia.

Although the dish sounds sophisticated, it brings a sort of simply elegance with it as well. “Joe’s dish is a world of sophistication above the Southern home cooking we ate when I was a child, but his dish is simple enough for any home cook to prepare,” Flynt says.

Although a variety of ciders go with a variety of food, Flynt says this one suits the task it was given. “Sometimes a bone-dry, tart cider doesn’t drink so well on its own,” she says. “The fat and creaminess of this dish make a perfect pairing with an acidic, tannic dry cider.”

The pâté is a wonderful ode to the fall, winter and the upcoming holiday months to serve at any soiree, utilizing the season’s celebrated ingredients like traditional cider and spicy ginger.

Chicken Liver Pâté with Cider-Ginger Gelee
By Joe Sparatta


Chicken Liver Pâté:
2 pounds chicken livers (Ashley Farms recommended)
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup chopped Spanish onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 ounces Foggy Ridge Serious Cider
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tart Virginia apples (Granny Smith or Winesap), grated with peel
1 teaspoon raw sugar
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
24 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
Cider-Ginger Gelée (recipe follows)

Cider-Ginger Gelée
2 sheets gelatin
8 ounces Foggy Ridge Serious Cider
½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh ginger juice
2 teaspoons sugar


For the Chicken Liver Pâté:

  • Place livers in medium mixing bowl and add enough milk to cover. Leave to soak for 24 hours.
  • Drain livers well and pat dry. Set aside.
  • Place oil in large sauté pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until almost translucent. Add garlic and continue to cook for 1 more minute, being careful not to brown garlic.
  • Add livers, cider, and salt and continue to cook until livers are firm and just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add grated apple, sugar, and black pepper and continue to cook until apple is tender, about 5 minutes
  • Transfer mixture to fine-mesh strainer and drain thoroughly. Discard liquid.
  • Transfer mixture to blender, add cream cheese, and purée on high speed until very smooth. Taste and season as desired.
  • Transfer to 4-ounce ramekins. Top with Cider-Ginger Gelée and refrigerate uncovered for 6 hours before serving.

Cider-Ginger Gelée

  • Place sheets of gelatin in bowl of cold water for 5 minutes, or until gelatin is soft and pliable.
  • In the meantime, place cider, vinegar, ginger juice, and sugar in saucepan over medium heat.
  • Remove softened gelatin from water, squeeze out excess water, and stir into warmed cider mixture until completely dissolved. Cool slightly.
  • Pour thin sheet of gelée over top of each ramekin of chicken liver pâté.

Recipe courtesy of Foggy Ridge Cider.

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