Cook the Book: Chicken Liver Pate Recipe

Cook the Book: Chicken Liver Pate Recipe

Chicken liver pâté is one of those rare but happy collisions of dirt cheap and delicious. With chicken livers at under $2 a pound, you can afford to make several servings of this velvety spread.

I've tested this recipe a number of times, and here are some observations:

1. When you're sautéing the chicken livers, don't be scared to take them off the heat. Overcooked livers produce a granular pâté with a faintly bitter taste.

2. If you already have whisky or bourbon in your liquor cabinet, either will work just fine—don't buy a whole bottle of brandy just to make this recipe.

3. This pâté can be served in an earthenware bowl, divided between several small ramekins, or unmolded from your choice of container, lined with plastic wrap.

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  • Yield:1 cup


  • 1/2 pound chicken livers, cleaned
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage, or 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. 1.

    Soak the chicken livers in the brandy for 3 to 4 hours in a cool place; do not refrigerate. Drain the livers and reserve the liquid.

  2. 2.

    Sauté the shallots in 1 tablespoon butter until wilted. Add the chicken livers, sage, and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until the livers are no longer pink inside, approximately five minutes. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a food processor, add the remaining butter, and process until smooth. Add the reserved brandy and process for another 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.