Chicken liver pâté

Chicken liver pâté

By
From
Leiths How to Cook
Serves
6
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g chicken livers
1 onion
200g butter, softened
1-1 1/2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 tablespoons brandy
salt
freshly ground black pepper

For sealing the pâté (optional)

Quantity Ingredient
75-100g clarified butter

Method

  1. Prepare the chicken livers by trimming away any discolouration or green areas and any tubes and fat, leaving the livers as whole as possible to help prevent them from overcooking.
  2. Halve, peel and finely dice the onion. Melt half the butter in a frying pan, add the onion and sweat until very soft and translucent. Peel and crush the garlic, add to the sweated onion and cook for 1 minute. Transfer the onion and garlic to a plate using a slotted spoon, leaving the butter in the frying pan.
  3. Reheat the frying pan over a low to medium heat. Season the trimmed livers with salt and pepper and fry gently, turning to lightly brown on all sides; they should be pink in the middle but must not be rare or raw. Remove to a sieve to drain off any bitter juices.
  4. Return the livers to the pan over a low to medium heat and flambé with the brandy, then take the pan off the heat. Leave to cool slightly.
  5. Blend the livers and onion in a food processor with the remaining butter until smooth, ensuring no ingredient is too cold or it will split the mixture. The pâté should be pale pink. Season to taste, then sieve it as quickly as possible through a fine sieve into a bowl to prevent discolouring. Divide the pâté between small ramekins or spoon into an earthenware dish and smooth the surface.
  6. If you plan to keep the pâté for more than 3 days, pour the clarified butter over the top of the pâté to create a 2–3 mm layer. This will harden and seal the pâté, excluding all the air and so preserving it and preventing it from discolouring. Once sealed, it can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.

Variations

  • Champagne and chicken liver pâté: Omit the brandy and add 100 ml warm Champagne to the food processor when blending the livers.

    Chicken liver pâté with thyme: Add 1–1½ teaspoons finely chopped thyme when blending the livers.

Soaking livers for a milder flavour

  • Soaking livers in milk, or a mixture of milk and water, for 30–60 minutes before cooking can help remove to some of the strong, bitter flavours and mellow the taste.

A note on oxidisation…

  • A pink pâté will quickly oxidise and turn brown once it comes into contact with air. Sieving the pâté as quickly as possible after blending helps prevent this.
Tags:
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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