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Chicken Liver Pâté

Chicken liver pâté is a firm favourite in our house and disappears in a flash. This pâté is wonderfully smooth (thank you Thermomix), perfect on a cracker or slice of toast, and it’s equally suitable for a dinner party or as a casual treat. It’s also lovely served at a summer garden party as a dip with crudités such as carrot sticks, celery and slices of red pepper. Every time I make it I receive lots of compliments, especially from foodies and chefs, and get asked for the recipe. My daughter-in-law has been known to eat it straight off the spoon!

I used to make chicken liver pâté with a lot less butter but over the last five years or so I have been more true to a ‘French amount’ of butter (i.e. lots!) as it adds so much more flavour and nourishment. Butter is known to be a good source of vitamin K, which helps vitamins A, D and E, plentiful in chicken livers, to be absorbed easily and used well.

Chicken livers are considered to be one of the most nutrient dense foods available. They are high in protein, rich in folate and an excellent source of readily absorbable iron and B vitamins. I love that they are really affordable, and I always choose organic or free range with a dark red colour – please avoid pale or pink chicken livers. Organic and free range may cost more, but as chicken livers are usually so inexpensive anyway, the extra is well worth it in my opinion.

I hope you enjoy making and eating this lovely pâté and that your entertaining menu includes it often. It’s a wonderful make-ahead starter as it can be prepared up to 3 days before your event. By the way, if you’d like to keep some chicken liver pâté on hand to serve as a casual nibble with drinks, freeze a ramekin or two for up to 3 months; allow to defrost approx. 45-60 minutes at room temperature before serving, or defrost overnight in the fridge.

This recipe is suitable for Thermomix TM5 and TM31.

Active Time 15 Minutes

Total Time HOURS

MAKES 650g jars

Ingredients

  • 400 g chicken livers, dark red colour, preferably organic and/or free-range
  • 250 g unsalted butter, diced, plus up to 50 g extra
  • 30 g brandy
  • 30 g port
  • 1 fat garlic clove, peeled
  • fresh thyme leaves from one 10 cm sprig
  • ¾ tsp fine sea salt or fine pink Himalayan salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Melt 90 g butter 2 min/90°C/speed 1; meanwhile, cut off and discard any green bits from chicken livers, then cut livers in 4 cm pieces.
  2. Add livers and cook 7 min/90°C/speed 1.
  3. Add brandy and port, then cook 3 min/90°C/speed 1/reverse.
  4. Add 90 g butter, garlic, thyme leaves, sea salt and pepper, mix 30 sec/speed 10, then transfer to individual ramekins or a shallow serving bowl (remember to get all the pâté from the underside of the TM lid too!) and smooth top with spatula until it’s flat and level. Carefully wipe off any excess mixture from ramekins/dish above top of pâté.
  5. Wash and dry TM bowl, then melt 70 g butter 2 min/90°C/speed 3 and pour over pâté to seal the top; aim for approx. 3-5 mm depth of butter with no pâté peeking through – see 1st and 2nd tips. Place in fridge uncovered to chill until butter is solid, approx. 30-60 minutes, then cover ramekins or serving dish with cling film and leave to chill 3-6 hours or overnight: timing will depend on size of ramekins or serving dish. Once completely chilled, pâté can be served – remove from fridge 15-20 minutes before serving. Keep pâté in fridge up to 1 week – see 3rd tip, or freeze up to 3 months – see recipe introduction.  

Janie’s Tips

  1. If extra melted butter is required for the topping, melt more as needed following melting method in step 5.
  2. Topping with a layer of butter is essential as it adds richness and moisture and helps keep the pâté perfect underneath. It also helps butter your toast as you spread it with pâté!
  3. I like to make this chicken liver pâté 1-3 days in advance to allow the flavours to develop.
  4. Brioche is the traditional bread served with a smooth pâté in French restaurants, however feel free to use any bread you like… toasted sourdough is lovely.
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