Sunday, November 15, 2009

Chicken Liver Pate

One of my secrets is that I adore pate of all types. I remember when I was 12 or so and my mom made chopped liver. I loved it. It is earthy, creamy, hardy and delicious. And it is a vehicle for pickles, which is always good.

Since discovering chopped liver I have had pates and liver mousses whenever I get the chance. I have to admit I have never, knowingly, eaten a plain ole liver, but mushed up with spices and wine, I can't get enough of it!

We have been looking longingly at the pate in the farmer's market, but just didn't feel it was in our budget. Locally grown, organic liver is only $2.50 lb at New Seasons Market. Cooking liver was something I wasn't sure I could do. Organ meat just seems, so, well, icky. Turns out, I had nothing to fear, it went swimmingly. The livers came cleaned and all I had to do was drop them into the pan.
Making the pate was a bit of a mess, but the results were SO SO SO worth it. I read multiple recipes before I started. Some called for a pound and a half of butter, others bacon or chicken fat.

I didn't add additional fat to this pate, and it didn't suffer. I did attempt to use my food-mill to puree the mixture of livers and veggies. I don't recommend this. The liver went right though, but nothing else. In the end, it was all buzzed up in the food processor.

This recipe made about 3 cups. I am going to try and freeze half to bring out during the holidays. I am afraid that 3 cups of pate between Justin and I will kill us rather quickly. :) This pate is fabulous on some good bread with some pickled green tomatoes.

Chicken Liver Pate
1 lb chicken livers, cleaned. (I would go organic for these, the liver cleans the body and theoretically could store all the bad stuff that was fed to the chicken.)
1 tsp olive oil or butter
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 handful of Italian parsley
2 garlic cloves, smashed
3 black pepper corns
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1/4 cup water or broth
1/2 cup dry sherry, divided

1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery and parsley. Cook about 5 minutes.
2. Add livers, garlic, and spices. Cook another 5 minutes or until liver is beginning to cook through.
3. Add water and 1/4 cup sherry. Simmer until livers are no longer pink (raw) inside. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes.
4. Remove bay leaves. Put 1/4 cup of sherry and the mixture into a food processor. Work in batches if needed. Blend until smooth and creamy looking.
5. Taste and adjust salt if needed.
6. Spoon into a pretty lidded container.

The pate improves with a day or two in the refrigerator.


  1. Thanks for the recipe. Husband and I just had chicken liver pate this weekend and it was so good.

  2. This looks really delicious. Perfect for a holiday appetizer.

  3. I don't care for liver, but a lot of times it comes with the chicken or turkey and I don't know what to do with it. Last time I fed it to my dog because it smelled so bad when I was cooking it I couldn't bring myself to eat it. I'll give your recipe a try though, if I get a liver with my T'giving turkey. It might have enough extra stuff in it to make it good.

    BTW, I loved your egg cup recipe. I have made it a couple of different times. So easy and tasty!

  4. L - So glad you like the egg cups! We eat them a lot because it makes such a fast easy dinner!
    Let me know how the turkey liver pate turns out, I have never had turkey liver.