Chicken Liver Pate

Chicken liver pate is one of those things that is a retro classic. For whatever reason, it was very popular for a while, and it has become less popular today. Maybe, it’s just that liver in general is not seen as an appealing ingredient.

However, you should put aside any reservations you may have about liver. This pate doesn’t have any of that overly-irony flavor you might have in mind. Instead, it’s smooth and delicately rich. Furthermore, it is easy and very affordable to make.

This chicken liver pate is actually a very simple recipe to make, and the end result has a deliciously smooth texture and a delicately rich flavor. Despite its simplicity this savory chicken liver pate has a silky smooth texture and is rich in flavor. This can be served as a snack during lunch, as an appetizer or canapé on top of crostini during cocktail hour.

The perfect choice for entertaining guests and more.

Many countries have ways of making lesser cuts and offal into tasty treats, but France is probably best known for them. In general, a pate is a smooth paste and should include at least some kind of liver.

Pate de fois de vollaille, as it is called in French, is a popular, traditional spread in France. Chicken livers have a mild flavor, cook quickly and blend up into a lovely smooth paste, particularly with the help of some liquid such as chicken stock and brandy. It’s perfect served simply with some nice crusty bread or crackers. It pairs ideally with a glass of red or white wine or a champagne which is my favorite.

You’ll find a few variations in the ingredients for this, though most include chicken liver, onion or shallot, garlic and butter. And, you’ll find different cooking techniques as well. Some recipes call to cook the liver on the stove, others to bake it, but I find this unnecessary.

There are two main things to follow in order to make this pate:

First – do not overcook the liver to avoid grainy pate

Second – make sure the puree is smooth. 

In terms of cooking, the liver should cook and brown on the outside but still be pink on the inside. It only takes a couple of minutes, especially if you chop it up. The most significant cause of graininess is cooking but it’s also important to blend well.

Personally I like it both ways – with a little more texture, and in a very smooth consistency. At the end, it comes down to personal preference and how you plan to use it.

Store the pate in the fridge. Or you can store it for longer time in the freezer. You can store in the freezer for a couple of months but make sure it is well sealed. 

You Need:

Chicken Liver1/2 pound
Yellow Onions1-2 small
Oil3 tbsp. divided
Saltto taste
Black Pepper to taste
Ground Nutmeg1/8 tsp.
Fresh Parsley1/2 tbsp.
Cognac2 tbsp.
Chicken Stock1/4 cup
Water1/4 cup


Over medium high temperature In a medium saucepan add the 2 tbsp. oil and and then add chicken livers that are already clean. Roughly chop them, add salt, pepper, nutmeg and cook for around 3 minutes on each side (until lightly cooked on the outside but still pink in the middle). Add the cognac and cook for a minute.

Over medium high temperature In another sauté pan add the remaining of oil and cook the slices of onions until golden brown. To help speed the caramelization process, add a little bit of sugar and a pinch of salt. After they are done remove from the stove and set aside.

Scrape the contents of the skillet/pan into a food processor and add the caramelized onions, fresh parsley, chicken stock and the water. Blend until the mixture is very smooth. If you want an extra-smooth pate, then press the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.

To keep it fresher a little longer (around 5 days) until you start using, add a clarified butter and seal.

To prepare the clarified butter – melt 2-3 tablespoon butter in a small skillet. Once melted, remove from the heat. Skim off the foamy white part on top of the butter so just the clear yellow butter remains.

Pour the melted butter over the top of the chilled pate in the dish, swirling gently if needed to form a layer all over. If you can’t form a layer, you may need more butter.

Serve on top of a crostini or your favorite bread.


Equipment you may find useful!

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