chicken liver pate

Pate and Pinot

chicken liver pate

This may be a detour from the eat – healthy’ish’ – seasonal – mostly vegetable options I mostly aim for on the blog,  but this is unapologetically about good times and celebration food.

Today I am giving you an old and trusted recipe for Chicken Liver Pate,  this recipe, slightly abridged, was originally given to me by one of the first people I met in Queenstown, the lovely Libby Lohmann –  to this day one of the most socially accomplished  people I know.

One of the best reasons to make this delicious Chicken Liver Pate is that it pairs superbly well with Pinot Noir and good times.  The Pinot Noir paired with the pate here is that made by my amazing friend Ruth, this is her fabulous 2015 vintage Te Amo Pinot Noir, shared at a birthday celebration for friends, this was a great combination of food and wine and a fabulous day with inspiring people.

Pate and Pinot Noir

This chicken liver Pate has been in my repertoire  for more years than I am prepared to number, it sometimes disappears from the menu for a few years but always returns and the flavours never grow old.  It is decadent with its cream and butter and brandy and maybe should come with a moderation warning, but for a special occasion or the odd occasion, it is delicious.   I could argue that it is full of iron and good fats like butter and cream but my nutritional background is more one of common sense, good health and enjoyment than scientific so I should probably just say it is very good!

My chicken liver pate is fairly simple to make and keeps well in the refrigerator so can be made in advance. it can also be frozen, but far better to pour it into jars as you make it and give any extra away to friends and family.chicken liver pate


This recipe is easily doubled

You will need a large frying pan, a blender, food processor or meuli, and jars,  bowls, or containers to store the Pate in.


  • 250 Grams of chicken livers
  • 100 grams butter
  • 100 mls of fresh cream
  • 1 small onion or half a large one
  • 1 tsp of fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp of dry thyme
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Salt and  1/4 teaspoon of pepper plus more to adjust to taste when blending.
  • 1 tablespoon of – brandy or port or sherry …….


Heat a medium large pan over a medium heat.

Add 1 small finely diced onion – you don’t have to be too fussy as you will blend this.

Add your thyme, pinch of cayenne and first measure of salt and pepper.

It is very important now to allow the onion to saute 10 -15 minutes, until the onion is well softened and begins to caramelise.

Heat the pan a little more and add your chicken livers. These will need to sizzle and cook for about 3-5 minutes depending on heat, until they are no longer pink or bloody in middle.  Don’t be too cautious though and over cook them.

Add your brandy or chosen spirit and allow to cook for a further minute.

Pour all this hot mixture into your blender, food processor or meuli.

Add the cream and blend until smooth.

Stop and taste the pate and check if it needs more salt – it probably will unless you enjoy your food very lightly seasoned.  This is where you need to adjust to your taste.

Scrape the sides and blend again for a minute to ensure all the mixture is incorporated and smooth.

Pour into jars, bowls or containers of choice.

I cool this on the bench for a half hour or so and then cover and refrigerate to cool and set.

I do not cover the pate with clarified butter etc feeling it is rich enough, I do though sometimes sprinkle with some chopped herbs or ground pepper.  It does go a little brown on top (although less so in the screw top jars) but I don’t see this as a problem.

You can eat the pate the same day or – I believe – keep it the refrigerator for up to a week.

chicken liver pate


As always enjoy and please let me know if you try this and how it goes for you.

One Comment

  1. I take it you heat the pan at the start with the butter in it. As there are no instructions fir the butter

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