Chicken Liver Pâté

Chicken Liver Pate

My farmers’ market source for pasture-raised chicken products is La Bahn Ranch.  Typically I get a few dozen eggs and a whole chicken, but being such a fan of liver pâté I’ve been dying to try it out.  Thanksgiving proved to be the perfect excuse so I finally took the plunge and bought a pound of chicken livers for a whopping $2!

I had heard recipes for liver pâté are fairly simple and the one I found was just that.  All I had to do was sauté the livers with some onion and herbs, then food process them with a good about of butter, actually a lot of butter, more than you’d think.

The result was just spectacular and made a lot more than I thought it would, about 4 cups worth.  In the future I will definitely half the recipe, unless I was hosting a ton of people.  As it was there was plenty for two different dinners with friends and I still had leftovers

This recipe is perfect for holiday parties because it feels very fancy without being expensive or difficult to make.  Especially when topped with some parsley and pink peppercorns like I did here it takes on the festive Christmas color scheme.

I’ve found pâté pairs well with fruit jams or gelees as well as fresh herbs and spices.  Classically it’s served on a crostini but my gluten free friends still thoroughly enjoyed it spread on a GF cracker or a slice of apple.

How will you serve yours up?

Chicken Liver Pâté
1 lb pasture-raised chicken livers
1 small brown onion
1 garlic clove
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp salt
1 cup water
3 sticks (1 and 1/2 cups) grassfed butter
1 tbsp whiskey or cognac
salt and pepper to taste

[NOTE: this recipe is best made the night before, but needs a minimum of 4-6 hours to set in the fridge.  So plan ahead!]

First prep the chicken livers by cutting out all membranes (the whitish-yellow stringy bits) and chopping into smaller pieces – 1/2 inch to 1 inch in length.

Trim and chop up the onion, trim and mince the garlic clove. Remove the thyme from the stem and roughly chop it up.

In a large sauce pan add the livers, onion, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt and water. Simmer this mixture for about 3 minutes on medium-low heat while covered, the livers should brown on the outside but will still be slightly pink the center.  Then let stand for 5 minutes to cool.

Remove and discard the bay leaves.  With a slotted spoon transfer the liver/onion/herb mixture to a food processor, leaving the liquid behind.

Turn on the food processor and when the mixture looks somewhat smooth start to slowly add in the butter, 2 tbsp at a time until it’s all incorporated. Then mix in the whiskey or cognac and add salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the mixture to small bowls or ramekins, it will be quite loose but will firm up in the fridge.  Ideally let it set overnight or make in the morning for later that evening.

Once set, add any herbs on top just before serving.  I used fresh parsley from my garden, some pink peppercorns I harvested from a tree down the street, and just a touch of smoked Maldon finishing salt for a little extra flavor and crunch.  But try out your own combination of herbs and spices to see what you like or just enjoy as is, you can’t go wrong!

Chicken Liver Pate

Yields about 4 cups


2 Responses to “Chicken Liver Pâté”
  1. Emily says:

    Great recipe! I’ve always loved pâté but never thought to make it.

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