Saturday, 7 December 2013

Chicken liver pate

I'm a liver lover. And though that too is surprisingly versatile (try chicken liver  the Syrian way!) I especially love it in pates. Which anyone who knows me knows too. Years ago I used to live as roommates with Tzatziki Champion and she still remembers how even if there was nothing else in the fridge there was always foie gras.

So, if pates are on the menu, there's a chance they will find their way on my plate too. But there's no reason not to make your own! That's something I've been planning on doing since that partridge pate I had in Marbella. And whaddayaknow - in less than 6 months I actually got there! Tzatziki Champion paid paid a visit (quality control, you know) and the pate was met with the royal seal of approval. From her and her accompanion, bichon frise.

This also makes a nice starter for dinner. Christmas dinner, even! And though it might seem rather elegant, it's a very accessible delicacy indeed. Chicken liver is a very affordable ingredient - less than €5 per kilo!

As a starter this serves 4-6

600 g chicken liver
2 shallots (or 1/2 regular, smallish onion)
1 generous tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 bay leaves
1 dl port wine
1 dl cream
200 g butter
1/4 tsp allspice, ground
pinch of cloves, ground

Finely chop the shallots and soften in a knob of butter. Add thyme and bay leaves. Pat the pieces of liver dry and cut them into 2-4 pieces each. Crank the heat up and fry the livers for a couple of minutes until browned but still rosy in the middle. Do this in batches if needed - in an overcrowded pan the liver just stews in its own juices. Remove the liver, discard the bay leaves and pour in port wine. Cook for a few minutes until the wine has reduced to a couple of tbsp. Pour that along with the liver, cream and spices into a food processor and blizz until smooth,

Then add 125 g butter in cubes and whizz it all up. For a really silky smooth consistency run through a sieve. Season as needed and pour into the serving dish(es). Let set in the cold for half an hour. Then melt remaining butter and pour over the pate. This seals the surface and prevents it from drying and getting darker. You could omit this and press a piece of parchment on top of the pate followed by clingfilm.

Serve with crostini, toasted pieces of good bread like ciabatta. I didn't make my own as my attempts at ciabatta have been nothing short of tragic. No knead bread would work too ! I love my pate with cornichons (me and Bridget Jones' Mom, Tzatziki Champion laughs), but rosemary and vanilla infused damson jam would compliment the pate beautifully too...






  1. I love liver pate and your pictures are delightful. Thank you for posting a yummy & lovely recipe. Cheers from Washington State.

    1. thank you so much for your kind words - I'm happy you've found your way to my blog :-)