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chicken liver pate in dish with some spread on bread to side and a little on knife to other side of bowl
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5 from 5 votes

Chicken liver pate

Chicken liver pate is wonderfully smooth and with a gently rich flavor. It's also really easy to make and is perfect to make ahead for entertaining. 
Prep Time17 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer/Starter
Cuisine: French
Servings: 8 or more - makes approx 1 cup/16tablespoon
Calories: 103kcal
Author: Caroline's Cooking


For pate

  • ½ lb chicken livers 225g
  • 1 shallot small
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 ½ tablespoon butter divided, 35g, room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves only, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon brandy

For butter seal on top

  • 2 tablespoon butter 30g, or 3tablespoon/45g if wider dishes (to form layer to cover)
  • thyme sprigs to garnish (optional)


  • Start by cleaning the chicken livers - you want to get rid of any bits that may become tough. Find any white fat or connective tissue on a piece of liver and hold on to it as you use use your knife to take off the liver flesh. Remove the fat/connective tissue and roughly chop the liver. Repeat with the other pieces.
  • Peel and finely dice the shallot and garlic. Warm ½tablespoon (6g) butter in a skillet/frying pan over a medium heat and add the shallot. Cook, stirring, for a minute, then add the garlic.
  • After another minute or two, as the onion is starting to soften and become translucent, add the liver and thyme. Cook for around 3 minutes on each side until lightly cooked on the outside but still pink in the middle.
  • Add the brandy to the skillet/pan and stir gently to help the brandy evaporate off the alcohol and reduce. After a minute or two it will become almost syrup-like, then remove from the heat.
  • Scrape the contents of the skillet/pan into a food processor and add the remaining 2tablespoon butter. Blend until the mixture is very smooth. If you want an extra-smooth pate, then press the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.
  • Either way, then transfer the pate to two or more small ramekins/dishes and flatten the top. If you don't want to top with butter, place cling wrap/film over the top of the pate, pressing on to the surface and ideally then also cover with a lid. Refrigerate and use within a day or two or freeze until needed. If adding butter, cover and chill in the fridge to firm up for around 25-20 minutes.

Adding butter seal

  • To keep it fresher a little longer (around 5 days) until you start using, add a clarified butter seal. Melt the 2-3tablespoon butter in a small skillet then once melted, remove from the heat. Skim off the foamy white part on top of the butter so just the clear yellow butter remains.
  • Pour the melted butter over the top of the chilled pate in the ramekins, swirling gently if needed to form a layer all over. If you can't form a layer, you may need more butter (eg if your dish is wider but 2-3tablespoon should be enough). If you like, press a little stem of thyme into the butter while it is still liquid. Place the dishes in the fridge until needed (or you can also freeze).



Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 78mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 3340IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 3mg