Culinary Anthropologist

Chicken liver paté

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This recipe was inspired by the one I learnt while working briefly at Zibibbo – a fantastic restaurant in Florence.  There they make it with lots of capers, which balance the rich creaminess of the livers, and serve it with toasted brioche and blood orange zest and port syrup.  Yum!

This recipe makes a fair bit, so if there are just a few mouths to feed you could do a half batch.


Recipe:  Chicken liver pate.pdf

1 red onion or 2 shallots, peeled and diced
knob of butter for frying onions
800g chicken livers, trimmed
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
herbs – thyme, savory or oregano, finely minced
2+ tbsps sherry
2+ tbsps brandy
200g cool unsalted butter, cut into chunks
spices – ground cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne, allspice
salt and pepper
capers, soaked, drained and squeezed dry (optional)
melted clarified butter to cover finished pâté (optional)

  1. Fry onion or shallots in butter over low-medium heat until soft.  Turn up heat, add livers, season and cook a few minutes stirring frequently until lightly caramelised on the outside and still a touch pink inside.  Add garlic, herbs, sherry and brandy towards end of cooking.  Tip contents of pan into the bowl of a food processor and let cool.
  2. Blitz mixture with butter until smooth and creamy.  Blitz in capers too, if using.  Taste and add more seasoning and spices as desired.  For a really smooth pâté, push the mixture through a sieve. 
  3. Tip into bowls, smooth the surface flat and cover with a layer of melted clarified butter or clingfilm pressed onto the surface and chill.  Serve with toasted baguette or brioche.

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