Chicken-Liver Pâté

( 4 out of 5 )
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  • 15 ouncesYield
  • 15 mPrep Time
  • 7 mCook Time
  • 2:30 hReady In
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“My idea of heaven is eating pâté to the sound of trumpets.” – Sydney Smith

My introduction to chicken-liver pâté was in 1988 in a London pub.  My host ordered me a Ploughman’s sandwich and I’ve been in love with liver pâté ever since.  The sandwich was two slices of toasted sourdough bread, one spread with stout mustard and the other with creamy butter; in between was a thick layer of liver  pâté topped with cheddar cheese and green lettuce (I passed on the red onion and tomato chutney).

Today I enjoy chicken-liver pâté in the more upscale restaurants where it is typically a lunch dish or an evening starter served on Crostini, sliced fresh baguette or even crackers topped with some type of mustard and/or soft butter and sometimes chopped boiled egg.  Here in the South the pâté is typically made with chicken liver but sometimes pork or beef.  Not so common is the French pâté de foie gras, made from the livers of fattened geese.

I’m not certain where this recipe came from because it has been in my “to do” folder for a number of years.  Online searching reveals an almost identical recipe used by a restaurant in the Brooklyn waterfront neighborhood of Red Hook.  Regardless, variations of this recipe are numerous on the Internet.


Step by step method

  • 1

     Put a large, heavy sauté pan over medium heat and melt 4 tablespoons of the butter until it begins to foam.  Add the shallots and sauté them until translucent being careful not to allow them to brown.

  • 2

    Add the livers, thyme and dry Sherry, and bring the heat to high. Cook, occasionally stirring the livers around in the pan with a spoon, until the wine has reduced and the livers are lightly browned but still very soft and pink on the inside, approximately 6 to 7 minutes.

  • 3

    Remove the pan from the stove, and put its contents, including the liquid, into a food processor along with the cream and the remaining butter. Purée until smooth, adding a little more cream if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning adding salt if necessary.

  • 4

    Pack the pâté into a bowl or ramekins, then smooth the top with a spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about two hours or up to five days.

  • 5

    Serve spread on crostini (small slices of toasted or grilled bread).  I like to top mine with a little soft butter and/or whole grain mustard.  Some enjoy topping it with bacon-onion jam.

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