Chicken liver paté is one of my favourite things… and yet, a couple of years ago, I’d never made it myself.
A friend was kind enough to share his recipe for chicken liver and brandy paté which I duly made and enjoyed. It was very straightforward and inexpensive too! Having gained the confidence to experiment I adjusted the recipe and adjusted it again and with a final tweak or two, came up with my own.
Mine has rather a lot more alcohol than my friend’s original recipe, so you may wish to add it gradually, the first time you make it, incase you prefer less! Likewise with the garlic.
This is a great make-ahead starter or light lunch and works well served with toasted, home-made bread or brioche and some sweet chutney.
Kavey’s Chicken Liver & Port Paté
• 400 grams chicken livers
• 150 grams butter
• 1 medium to large onion; diced or finely sliced
• Thyme; fresh or dried, to taste.
• 5-6 cloves garlic; roughly chopped or crushed
• Salt & pepper
• 100 ml port
• Clarified butter; to cover
• Replace 50 gm butter with 50 gm double cream
1. Chop the onion and garlic finely and soften in about 1/4 of the butter until just starting to colour.
2. Add the livers, thyme and seasoning and fry together over reasonably high heat for about 3 minute until the livers have stiffened and browned. They should be pale pink inside but no dark (raw) pink should remain.
3. Leave to cool.
4. Tip the contents of the pan (including any melted butter/ juices) into a food processor and blend.
5. Once you have achieved a smooth paste add the rest of the butter (and the cream, if using) and blend again.
6. Add the port, check the seasoning and blend once more to combine.
7. Then pour into a large, shallow dish or individual ramekins.
8. Tap the pots gently to free bubbles and leave to cool.
9. Optional: Clarify some butter (melt and remove impurities) before pouring or spooning very gently over the surface of the paté, to a depth of about 3 mm.
10. Refrigerate overnight.
11. Serve, from the fridge, with toasted bread or brioche and a sweet jam or chutney.
• This paté needs to overnight in the fridge before serving. It’s too runny on the day it’s made.
• Even after a night in the fridge, this is a soft, spreadable paté; not the terrine kind you can cut into slices and lift out of the dish. For that reason, I make it in a large, shallow dish for an informal dinner, where everyone dives in and spoons a dollop into their own plates or in individual ramekins for a more formal presentation.
• If the surface is covered in butter, it will last a few days in the fridge.
• It freezes very well, just allow it to defrost for several hours in the fridge.