This homemade creamy chicken liver pate is perfect for spreading on crispbread and crackers. It also makes a welcome addition to a cheeseboard alongside a dish of fruity chutney.
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The perfect spreadable snack
Chicken liver pate is one of those foods that needs to be in every refrigerator. If you have a bowl of this delicious creamy pate handy, you can whip up a delicious cocktail snack in minutes; and it makes the perfect light lunch, served with crusty bread, a hunk of cheese and a dish of fruity pear and onion chutney
I’ve always made my own pate. And it’s become our family tradition to make this pate at Christmas. Even my family, who are now spread out all over the world are carrying on the tradition. I got a phone call from my son in Australia. ‘Mom, I can’t find the recipe for chicken liver pate on your website – please can you send it to me‘. The reason he couldn’t find it was because I hadn’t posted it, so I’m sharing it today so that you can try it for yourselves.
What does chicken liver pate taste like?
Chicken liver pate has a very distinctive flavour. It’s savoury and meaty, with a hint of sweetness from the brandy and onions, and a hint of saltiness from the bacon. It has a creamy smooth texture and a spreadable consistency.
Some people like to soak the chicken livers in milk before cooking them, as they believe that it tones down the ‘liver’ taste. I have never done this as I find that the cream that gets added does much the same job (plus I enjoy the taste of chicken liver).
You can vary the taste to suit yourself, by adding different herbs to the mixture. I like to add thyme, some people prefer sage or even rosemary; I like to add a touch of brandy, others swear by adding sherry. You can even leave the alcohol out if you prefer. It doesn’t matter. This is a very forgiving recipe and as long as you get the base ingredients right you can add whatever takes your fancy.
So what do you need?
The basic ingredients for my version of chicken liver pate are chicken livers, chopped onions, diced bacon, butter and cream.
The butter should be divided into 5 parts. One fifth is to be used to fry the onions, bacon and livers. Three-fifths of the butter will be blended in the pate, and the final fifth will be melted and poured on top of the pate to seal it.
For flavour you can add whatever other flavours you prefer – I’ve chosen thyme, brandy and garlic.
To vary the taste:
- swap the thyme out for sage, rosemary or another herb of your choice;
- exchange the brandy for sherry, or leave it out altogether;
- if you don’t like the taste of garlic you can leave it out.
How do I make it?
Prepare the ingredients
Chicken liver pate is very easy to make, especially if you prepare everything up front so the ingredients are easily to hand as you cook.
You will need a blender or a food processor get the smooth texture of the pate.
- Rinse the chicken livers in a colander under cold running water and let them drain. Then take each piece of chicken liver and remove any white sinews and membranes and cut each liver into large chunks.
- These days, chicken livers are sold properly cleaned. However, if you do find a green sac attached to the liver, you should remove and discard this, taking care not to pierce it. This is the gall bladder and if any of the gall should get into the pate it will give a very bitter taste.
- Peel the onion and chop into approximately 1cm (or half inch) chunks.
- Cut the bacon into 1cm pieces.
Cook the pate
- Now fry the onions and bacon in about one-fifth of the butter until the onion turns translucent and the bacon starts to release its fat. Take your time over this step – don’t allow the onions to brown or it will change the taste of the pate. Use a low heat and stir often. This step will take about 5 minutes (image 1 above).
- Add the chopped livers, the thyme and the brandy and continue to cook until the livers change colour and are cooked through. This should take another 5 minutes (image 2 above).
- Set aside and allow to cool for about 30 minutes.
- Once cool, transfer the mixture to a blender (or food processor fitted with a metal blade). Add three-fifths of the butter and the cream, and blend until smooth (image 3 above).
Blend and assemble
- Pour the blended pate into 5 small ramekins and smooth the top of the pate with the back of a spoon.
- Melt the final one-fifths of butter and pour over the pate.
- Store the pate in the refrigerator and serve cold, spread on melba toast or crispy crackers.
How long can I store chicken liver pate?
Once made, chicken liver pate can be stored in the refrigerator, and should be eaten within 4 days.
You can also freeze chicken liver pate for up to 2 months. Just cover the ramekin with plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag before freezing.
To use, transfer the frozen pate to the refrigerator and allow to defrost before eating. Use within 4 days.
If you enjoyed this chicken liver pate you may like to try some of my other party snacks:
- Creamy mushroom tarts with puff pastry
- Crispy chicken wings with barbeque sauce
- Pork and apple sausage rolls with puff pastry
- Garlic stuffed mushrooms with ham and cheese
- Sesame chicken strips with a spicy lime dipping sauce
- Peri peri chicken livers
Don’t forget to check out my handy Cookery Conversion Calculator if you want to convert any of your recipe measurements from grams to cups, ounces, tablespoons or millilitres and vice versa. You can also use the calculator for converting oven temperatures between Fahrenheit, Celsius and Gas marks.
If you live at a high altitude you may find you need to adjust your baking recipes to compensate for this. You can read all about it in this post on baking at high altitudes.
Pin for later
Why not pin this recipe to your pinterest board so you can make it later. Just click the image below.
Chicken liver pate with bacon recipe
Chicken liver pate with bacon, cream and brandy
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- Sharp Knife
- Chopping Board
- Small ramekins
- 1 lb (450g) fresh chicken livers
- 1 medium onion diced (approximately 100g)
- 4 oz (100g) bacon diced
- 1 tablespoon brandy optional
- 4 oz (120g) butter divided (see notes and instructions)
- ½ cup (120g) single cream
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic (2 cloves)
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Peel and dice the onion. Dice the bacon. Rinse the chicken livers in cold water, then chop coarsely, taking care to remove any sinews. (See notes)
- Melt 20g butter in a frying pan and gently fry the bacon and onion until the onion is translucent and the bacon has released its fat. This will take approximately 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped chicken livers, the thyme and the brandy. Season with salt and black pepper to taste, and continue to fry for another 5 minutes until the chicken liver is no longer pink.
- Allow to cool for approximately 30 minutes.
- Once cool, transfer to a blender (or food processor fitted with a metal blade). Add 80g of butter and the cream.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour into ramekins and smooth the top of the pate.
- Melt the remaining 20g butter and pour a thin layer over the top of each ramekin.
- Store in the refrigerator, and serve cold with melba toast or crackers.
- 20g for frying the onions and chicken livers
- 80g for blending into the pate
- 20g for melting and pouring on top of the pate
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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