Chicken Liver Pâté and Soda Bread

For a great starter, light lunch or anytime snack, try Paul Bloxham`s fabulous rich liver pâté and homemade soda bread
By Paul Bloxham
Chicken Liver Pâté and Soda Bread
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes plus 6 hrs chilling time for pâté
  • Effort: easy


For the pâté

  • 500 g chicken livers
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 250 g fresh wild mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 banana shallots, finely diced
  • 150 ml full bodied red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sprigs thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp green peppercorns, drained
  • 50 ml brandy
  • 150 ml crème fraîche

For the soda bread

  • 100 g sultanas
  • 150 g plain flour
  • 150 g wholemeal flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 150 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 100 ml yogurt
  • 50 ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp rolled oats
  • cornichons, to serve


1. Clean the chicken livers and season with salt and pepper.

2. Melt the butter and oil in a large frying pan and gently fry the chicken livers for 3 minutes. Remove them from the pan and set aside.

3. In the same pan, add the mushrooms and shallots and fry for 1-2 minutes.

4. Add the wine, bay leaf, thyme and garlic. Simmer until reduced by three-quarters. Remove the bay leaf and thyme.

5. Place the chicken livers, green peppercorns, brandy and reduced liquid into a food processor. Add the mushrooms and shallots and whiz until very smooth.

6. Adjust the seasoning and stir in the crème fraiche.

7. Spoon the pate into the ramekins. Cover and chill for at least 6 hours.

8. Meanwhile, to make the soda bread, preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

9. Place the sultanas in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to stand for 5 minutes. Drain and reserve.

10. Sieve the flours together into a bowl and add the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.

11. Add the butter into the dry ingredients and rub the mixture together with your fingertips, until it resembles dry crumbs.

12. Add the caraway seeds, molasses, yogurt and sultanas and knead until the mixture forms a soft dough, taking care not to over mix.

13. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and form into a round (or use a greased loaf tin).

14. Brush the loaf with the cream and scatter over the oats. Bake for 30-40 minutes.

15. Remove from the oven and cool slightly on a wire rack before slicing. Serve warm with the chicken liver pate and some cornichons, if desired.

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