Chicken Liver Pâté

I made this because I love it, and I thought if no one else likes it then all the more for me …hurray! But I found that lots of people like it ( have I mentioned we did a lot of eating with friends and family over Christmas?) and if they liked it, then they had a barely disguised enthusiastic love of it … hurray again!

So for those people, here is the recipe. Again it is very easy to make. My advice is that you should cook it for a minute LESS than you feel you should. All those nasty, dry, bitter pates that you have had in the past were very, very likely to have been overcooked, or OLD! Make it and eat it within 78 hours. That beautiful pink colour changes as the surface of the pate comes into contact with the air.

Such a wonderful old recipe, a traditional dish served all over England with recipes first written down in Medieval times but doubtless the dish predate these too. I really like that, a recipe that goes from hand to mouth, the eater falls in love with it and the chain continues from hand to mouth. And each cook can add a little of what they love, just as I have done with this recipe.

Feel free to add a little of what you like too, but if you want to use cider then you must not add the Vermouth otherwise the consistency will be altered.

Play, Eat, Enjoy!


Chicken Liver Pâté

Chicken Liver Pate

180 g /6 oz butter

1 large chopped red onion

3 large garlic clove, chopped

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried sage

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp salt

Good grind black pepper

1/2 tsp ground allspice

500 g/ 1 lb chicken livers, trimmed

50 ml / 2 floz Brandy (optional use water if you prefer)

100 ml /  4 floz White Vermouth  (optional use water if you prefer)

Special equipment: a 1 lt / 2 pt  dish or terrine or some small ramekins or even teacups 🙂

Chicken Liver Pate 1 Chicken Liver Pate 2

Melt 2 oz butter in a large nonstick pan over moderately low heat, then cook onion and garlic, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Chicken Liver Pate 3 Chicken Liver Pate 4  Chicken Liver Pate 6

Add herbs, salt, pepper, spices, and livers and cook, stirring, until livers are just cooked all over on the outside, about 4 – 5 minutes.

Chicken Liver Pate 7

Stir in brandy and vermouth and remove from heat.

Chicken Liver Pate 8 Chicken Liver Pate 9

Purée mixture in a food processor until smooth.

Chicken Liver Pate 10

Then transfer the pâté to the dishes you want to use. Just flatten the top.

Chicken Liver Pate 11

Melt remaining 4 oz butter in a small pan over low heat, then pour the melted butter over the top of the pate, melt a little more if necessary as I don’t know the size of the dishes you are using, they may be wide and flat in which case you may need a little more butter.

Chicken Liver Pate 12

As you can see I have only poured on the clarified butter, leave the milky solids in the bottom of pan and tip into the bin.

Chicken Liver Pate 13

Once the pate has cooled down it can be covered with cling film and chilled until it is all firm, about another 2 hours.

With the butter carapace the pâté can be kept chilled up to 2 weeks, it shouldn’t spoil, but really to get the best of the sweet flavour of the liver, the savoury of the herbs, the aroma of the alcohol and that depth from the garlic, seriously, eat it within 3 days. Spread it onto crackers, or a nice bread or even just some toast. Delicious 😀


Come and see me on Saturdays’ at Bermondsey Square Farmers Market in Southwark. It’s just off Tower Bridge Road, a short walk from The White Cube, Southbank and Borough Market.
All new customers will get a lovely washable cotton shopper as a ‘Thank you and please come again next week’ (Whie stocks last!)

Every Friday at about 6 pm GMT I publish photos of the items I have cooked for market. Have a look at the Facebook page.

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