Schmaltzy Pâté

Michael Solomonov follows some kosher guidelines at Zahav and doesn't mix dairy with meat. To make his chopped chicken liver as luxurious as pâté, he adds schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) to chicken livers for richness instead of butter or cream, then passes the result through a sieve to make it ultrasmooth.

Schmaltzy Pâté
Photo: © Christina Holmes
Total Time:
1 hrs
8 as an hors d'oeuvre

Recipe from<em> Food & Wine America's Greatest New Cooks</em> 


  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill

  • 1 large carrot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

  • 1/4 cup rendered chicken fat (schmaltz; see Note)

  • 1 Spanish onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 1/2 pound chicken livers—trimmed, rinsed and patted dry

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/2 pound sliced challah bread, toasted and cut into 2-inch strips


  1. In a small saucepan, combine the lemon juice, honey, 1 tablespoon of salt and 1/2 cup of water and bring to a boil. Stir in the dill. In a heatproof bowl, pour the brine over the sliced carrot and let stand for at least 6 hours or refrigerate overnight.

  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325°. In a medium skillet, melt the schmaltz. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and well browned, about 13 minutes. Scrape the onion and schmaltz into a food processor and let cool completely. Add the chicken livers, eggs and 1 teaspoon of salt and puree until smooth. Pass the puree through a fine sieve into a bowl.

  3. Line a 6-by-3-inch porcelain terrine or a 5-inch ceramic ramekin with plastic wrap and set it in an 8-inch square baking dish. Pour the chicken liver puree into the lined terrine. Transfer the bak-ing dish to the oven and carefully pour in enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the terrine. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the pâté is browned on top and set. Remove the terrine from the baking dish and refrigerate until the pâté is well chilled, at least 6 hours.

  4. Drain the pickled carrot. Turn the pâté out onto a plate and peel off the plastic wrap. Serve with challah toasts and the pickled carrot.

Make Ahead

The pickled carrot and pâté can be refrigerated separately for up to 2 days.


Schmaltz is available in the refrigerated section of most supermarkets.

Suggested Pairing

Strawberry-scented cru Beaujolais

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