Duck liver pâté with green walnut vodka

Duck liver pâté with green walnut vodka

Pasztet z wątróbki kaczej z wódką orzechową

Borsch, Vodka and Tears
15-20 as a canape
Bonnie Savage

This recipe is a variation on one our chef Phil used to serve at After the Tears. He would take chicken livers and sauté them quickly, then remove them from the pan, pour in some Orzechowa, then whisk in some cold butter to make a rich nutty dressing for chicken liver salad. This version includes cream, and turns the whole thing into a rich nutty pâté. Chicken or other poultry livers will do in place of duck. If you can’t find Orzechowa, the Italians make a liqueur from green walnuts that they call Nocino. It is only half the strength, but the flavour is very similar.


Quantity Ingredient
500g duck or chicken livers
2 tablespoons butter
2 french shallots, peeled and sliced
A pinch dried marjoram
1 thyme stalk
60ml orzechowa
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
125ml pouring cream, chilled
200g clarified butter or ghee


  1. Carefully remove the connective tissue from the livers with a very sharp knife.
  2. Melt the butter in a frying pan over high heat until the foam subsides, then add the shallots and sauté for 30 seconds, or until they just start to soften. Add the liver, marjoram and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Continue to sauté until the liver colours on the outside and just turns pink in the middle, about 90 seconds.
  3. Add the Orzechowa to the pan and toss a few more times, then remove to a bowl and refrigerate to cool. Remove the thyme and add the vinegar.
  4. When the liver is cool, transfer to a food processor and process to a purée. Slowly pour in the cream and stir until the mixture is smooth. Adjust the seasoning. Transfer to four 125 ml ramekins.
  5. Melt the clarified butter, allow to cool, then pour over the top of each pâté and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until the butter has set.
  6. Serve with pickles, buttered toast triangles and a shot of Orzechowa. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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