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Chicken Liver Paté

(With my apologies to vegetarian and vegan readers…)

Many of us omnivores don’t eat offal nowadays, except perhaps in paté, so I thought I would offer this recipe using chicken livers. Although we are advised not eat too much liver, it’s fine to eat once in a while and is a rich source of essential nutrients such as iron.

All patés are high in fat, and this is no exception; there is a lot of butter in this recipe, which give it its luxurious flavour and texture. It works equally well as a starter served with toast or crackers, or on a buffet table, or as a sandwich filling.


  • 120 g soft butter
  • A splash of olive oil
  • 1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 250 g chicken livers, higher-welfare if possible
  • a few sprigs of fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons brandy or calvados (optional)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


Place 60g of the butter into a small pan and heat gently till just melted. Remove from the heat and allow the milky sediment to settle.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the finely chopped shallot. Stir frequently over a low heat, allowing it to soften without browning, for about 10 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and fry for a further two minutes. Remove onto a plate.

Meanwhile, trim away and discard any stringy bits of the livers, and cut them into roughly equal chunks, about 2 – 3cm long.

If you are using brandy or calvados, have the bottle next to the stove. Raise the heat under the frying pan to high and add the livers and most of the sage leaves. Allow them to cook briefly on one side for a minute of two, then turn them over and fry on the other side. They should still be a bit pink in the middle – if you cook them too long they will turn grainy.

If using it, immediately add the alcohol to the livers, stand well back and ignite. Mind your hair! When the flames have died down, tip the onions, livers and the other 60g of soft butter into the bowl of a food processor. Add sea salt and black pepper, and blitz, scraping down the sides of the bowl half way through, until very smooth. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Scrape the contents into a smallish lidded bowl or shallow dish, and tap to level the surface and remove any air bubbles. Arrange the rest of the sage leaves on the surface, and gently spoon the remaining melted butter over the top, discarding the milky residue. Cover, allow to cool, and then refrigerate to firm up. It will taste even better if the flavours are left to develop for a couple of days. If the butter seal isn’t disturbed it should last as long as two weeks, or you can freeze it.

Posted in Erika’s Kitchen on Nov 01, 2023