Chicken liver parfait and pickled cherries

Chicken liver parfait and pickled cherries
Chicken liver parfait and pickled cherries Photo: Jennifer Soo

Choosing cherries with the stalks intact indicates quality and they look great when served.


400g castor sugar

450ml white wine vinegar

12 black peppercorns

6 cloves

4 bay leaves

500g cherries, washed

450g chicken livers, trimmed

1 tbsp brandy

1 tbsp port

150g butter

150g pork fat

480ml cream


White pepper, finely ground

100ml brandy

400ml veal stock

2 egg whites

1/2 tsp powdered gelatine

1 tbsp warm water



To pickle cherries, place sugar, vinegar, peppercorns, cloves and bay leaves in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then simmer for five minutes. Allow liquid to cool. Pack sterilised preserving jars with cherries and cover with pickling liquid. Seal jars and refrigerate for a month before using.

For the parfait, marinate the livers in brandy and port overnight. Pre-heat oven to 140C. Melt the butter and pork fat in a saucepan then allow to cool until warm but not hot. Warm cream to same temperature. Blend livers in a blender, add pork fat mixture with blender going. Add cream and season with salt and pepper with blender going. Pass through a fine strainer and pour into a 1-litre capacity terrine mould or six 200-millilitre ramekins and place in a baking tray. Fill tray with hot water from the tap so the water comes halfway up the mould and cover tray with foil. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes for large parfait, eight minutes for individual, or until just set. Parfaits should still be wobbly in the centre. Refrigerate.

To make the jelly, reduce brandy by half in a saucepan. Add stock and reduce to 250 millilitres. Allow to cool, then chill. Lightly whisk egg whites and stir through chilled stock. Bring to the boil in a saucepan, stirring occasionally. Once stock has just boiled, do not stir again. Reduce heat to a very slow simmer for 10 minutes. Strain clear jelly carefully through a fine strainer. Dissolve gelatine in warm water and stir through jelly while still hot. Cool and pour a thin layer on top of parfait. Set in fridge. Serve with crusty bread or toast.