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Chicken Liver Pâté

This silky-smooth pate is inexpensive and simple to make. The chicken livers are briefly simmered in water with aromatics before they're blended with butter in a food processor. If you have the opportunity to choose, shop for paler chicken livers; they tend to have a mellower, richer flavor than deep-red ones.


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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6 to 8

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  • 1/2 pound chicken livers, well-trimmed
  • 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small garlic clove, smashed and peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons Cognac or Scotch whisky
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Toasted baguette slices, for serving


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the chicken livers, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the livers are barely pink inside, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
  2. Discard the bay leaf. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the livers, onion and garlic to a food processor; process until coarsely pureed. With the machine on, add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, until incorporated. Add the Cognac, season with salt and pepper and process until completely smooth. Scrape the pâté into 2 or 3 large ramekins. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pâté and refrigerate until firm. Serve chilled.

Make Ahead

The pâté can be covered with a thin layer of melted butter, then wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months.

Contributed By Published March 2007

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