Chicken liver pate

Johnnie Mountains smooth chicken liver pate recipe flavoured with thyme, garlic, pancetta and madeira will make a great appetiser
Chicken liver pate
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2-4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes plus soaking and chilling time
  • Effort: easy


  • 400 g fresh free range or organic chicken livers, sinews and gall bladders removed
  • 500 ml milk
  • 60 g shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 sprigs thyme, leaves only, finely chopped
  • 100 g pancetta
  • 100 ml dry madeira
  • 50 ml cognac
  • 400 g unsalted butter, melted and kept warm
  • splash balsamic vinegar
  • 150 g melted butter, clarified for topping

To serve

  • white bread
  • olive oil
  • capers
  • pickles
  • watercress


1. Soak the chicken livers in the milk, 500ml water and two teaspoons of salt in a shallow
dish for a couple of hours. This will draw out most of the blood, which can make the livers bitter, giving the pate a more delicate flavour. Rinse, drain and dry the livers well.

2. Sweat shallots, garlic and thyme in olive oil, cook for 5-6 minutes until soft.

3. Place a medium (30cm) frying pan on a high heat and add pancetta, allow them to colour but not crisp, this should take 3-4 mins. Remove from the pan, add to shallots/garlic, but keep excess fat.

4. Season livers with salt and pepper and add to a hot frying pan. Cook for 2-3mins on high heat and then turn, cook for a further minute and remove from pan and allow to rest.

5. Return the pan to the heat and deglaze with madeira and cognac. Cook for one more minute to burn off alcohol, remove and add liquor to pancetta and shallots.

6. Fold all ingredients together (livers, pancetta, shallots etc) and allow to infuse with the cognac for 5 mins.

7. Put the livers into a food processor, blitz and gently pour in liquor and melted butter, adjust seasoning to taste and add a splash of balsamic vinegar.

8. Remove and transfer to a serving dish, then top with clarified butter, cool and then refrigerate, ideally overnight.

9. For the toast, take the crusts off a few slices of white bread, roll it until thin with a rolling pin. Cut into triangles, drizzle some olive oil, and put into a high oven for 5-6 minutes.

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