Chicken Liver Pâté Toasts


This simple pâté is made from sautéed chicken livers mixed with onions, anchovies and Marsala, then blended with crème fraîche until smooth and creamy.

Chicken-Liver-Pâté Toasts
Photo: © Michael Turek
Total Time:
1 hr
20 toasts

"Nothing is better for big-party entertaining than putting toppings on bread," says food writer Tamar Adler. Tamar and her brother, John, love making these toasts for cocktail parties and other gatherings. Seasoned with Marsala, red wine vinegar, anchovies, capers, garlic, onions, crème fraîche, and woodsy herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage, this pâté recipe is rich. It makes enough for a crowd, but leftover pâté will keep well in the freezer until your next get-together or dinner; store it in an airtight container under a layer of olive oil or melted butter.


  • 2 pounds chicken livers, trimmed

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 1/2 cups Marsala

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 large white onions, finely chopped

  • 6 garlic cloves, minced, plus more for rubbing

  • 1/3 cup drained capers

  • 10 oil-packed anchovy fillets, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons chopped sage

  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary

  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme

  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 60 toasted baguette rounds

  • Coarse sea salt, for serving


  1. Season chicken livers with salt and pepper. Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add half of the livers and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until livers are just barely pink within, 6 minutes. Transfer livers to a bowl and repeat with remaining livers and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Add 1 cup of the Marsala to the skillet and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, 8 minutes.

  2. Add the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil to the skillet along with butter. Add onions and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add capers, anchovies, sage, rosemary, and thyme and cook for 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of Marsala and cook until nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

  3. Transfer onion mixture and livers to a food processor. Add crème fraîche and vinegar and puree until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until chilled.

  4. Rub toasts on 1 side with garlic, spread chicken liver pâté on top, sprinkle with sea salt and serve.

Make Ahead

The pâté can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. The toasts can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Suggested Pairing

Rich, earthy chicken livers pair exceptionally well with bright, focused red Burgundy, which often has a little earthiness of its own.

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