Chicken pate made with plenty of vegetables is a regular dish in our household. It is a versatile snack with multiple uses in sandwiches, toasts, savoury pancakes or galettes. It takes any extra flavours or spices you like, it can be kept refrigerated for 5 days, or frozen for longer storage. Without extra spices it makes an excellent baby food, both in texture and taste. I have been making this pate with sautéed onion/leek and carrots for many years now. Lightly caramelised onions and cooked carrots give pate the gentle sweetness, which I like, and which makes the dish acceptable for very fussy babies.
The recipe below is another accidental one. I roasted organic pumpkin for risotto and had some leftovers. Chicken drumsticks were meant for another dish, but I decided to try chicken pate, where carrots were substituted with absolutely delicious roasted organic pumpkin. The switch was so successful that from now on I can say farewell to carrots and hello to roasted pumpkin as pate ingredient.
Roasted pumpkin improved both the taste and the texture of the pate. Pumpkin appears to be more dense, it takes more broth for the same pate consistency, but makes the texture with more body. The taste of pate seems the same at first, but the depth and intensity of flavours are more pronounced, without any additional spices added.
- 5-6 chicken drumsticks
- 1 large or 2 medium onions, can be replaced by leek
- 200g roasted pumpkin (I used organic homegrown butternut pumpkin)
- 1 table spoon olive oil
- 1 table spoon coconut oil
- pinch of cumin seeds
- 120-130-150ml chicken stock (I used my own), quantity depends on moisture content in roasted pumpkin and the texture of pate you want to end up with, we like our pate soft as spread
- sea salt (to roast pumpkin I used artisan sea salt)
- extra olive oil to brush pumpkin before roasting
I want to make a special note about chicken stock. I use drumsticks, either with the skin on, or skinless, with plenty of vegetables. The principal ones are onion, carrots and cauliflower leaves, or the hard middle. Cauliflower gives an amazing delicious sweetness to the broth and now I always keep cauliflower leaves and other pieces to use in chicken stock, which never go into any other dishes and were previously just thrown into green waste. For me cauliflower leftovers are the must in all stocks I make.
The process is nearly identical to that of making chicken pate with sautéed carrots and onions, that can be found here with step by step photos.
- place chicken drumsticks in cold water, add chosen vegetables, season with salt, I like to add fennel seeds and some chilli as well
- cook until boiling point, reduce heat and simmer for 70-90 minutes
- cover with pot with a lid and let the stock rest until warm temperatures, depending on pot material, it can be anything from 1 to 3 hours, chicken meat, rested in cooling stock becomes soft as butter
- separate chicken meat from the skin and bones
- put chicken and vegetable stock through the sieve
- cut pumpkin into 1 cm slices, leave the skin on
- place them on a tray, lined with baking paper
- brush with olive oil, season with sea salt
- roast in preheated to 190C fan forced oven until soft
- heat olive and coconut oil in a pan, add cumin seeds
- slice onion/leek in semi-circles and gently fry them on low heat until soft and translucent, do not let them brown, season onion/leek with sea salt after 2-3 minutes of frying
- place roasted pumpkin, sautéed onions and chicken meat in food processor, add 70-100ml of chicken stock and start blending, add more stock in portions and seasoning if necessary
Best blending is achieved when at least some ingredients are still warm, the texture with become thicker when pate is refrigerated. For freezing I recommend to cover the surface of pate with cut to size baking paper or cling wrap to prevent the appearance of ice on the top of pate.