This wonderfully smooth and creamy chicken liver pate with brandy, sage and thyme is delicious and very moreish. Even those that claim not to enjoy pate will be tempted by this dish. Not only is this a brilliant make-ahead option for a drinks and nibbles occasion, its very easy to make. And chicken livers are incredibly affordable too, making this sensational pate a must-try!
I confess I’m not really a fan of offal. I understand the health benefits of eating offal. Liver in particular is full of vitamins A and B, iron and good protein amongst many other good things. I also admire people who follow a nose-to-tail philosophy with cooking, consuming as much of each animal as possible. I wish I could be that way too but I just can’t do it. I think it stems from the truly horrific over-cooked cows liver and baked beans meals served to us as children by our evil stepmother.
Pretty much the only way you’ll catch me eating offal is pate. And pate I LOVE! Particularly chicken liver pate made like this, with sweet brandy, and woody sage and thyme. Once again this is a recipe based on something my Mum used to make when we were kids (with a few Fare Sage tweaks for good measure). I recall with fondness the smell of chicken livers cooking – its quite intoxicating, especially when you add in the aroma of gently caramelised onion and garlic.
Though Mum likes to eat chicken livers whole as a meal, I’d much rather pop them in the blender with a little extra butter and cream. The resulting pate is velvety smooth, rich and flavoursome. This pate is so delicious even Mr Fare Sage who claims not to enjoy pate was seen licking the knife after spreading the last of it on a cracker.
Chicken liver pate is surprisingly easy to make yourself. The result is a hundred times better than the supermarket varieties. Its softer and so much more full of flavour. And homemade pate wins hands down when it comes to value for money. 100g of standard store-bought pate here can be anywhere from NZ$3.00 – NZ$8.00. The 350g tub of chicken livers I used for this recipe was only NZ$5.50. And I got two 250ml jars of pate which was enough for 9 people as a substantial nibble, with plenty left over for a few days of pate on toast and banh mi sandwiches.
This wonderfully rich and delicious chicken liver pate is a great way to introduce the uninitiated to the joys of pate. Make it for your next gathering of friends and you won’t be disappointed.
- 25g butter
- ½ brown onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp fresh sage leaves
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 350g chicken livers
- 50ml brandy
- ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 50 butter
- 1 tbsp cream
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 25g butter additional to top finished pate (optional)
- Finely dice the onion and crush the garlic. Roughly chop the sage and thyme.
- Trim any excess sinew from the chicken livers and set these aside.
- Melt the butter in a fry pan, add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes until very soft and lightly golden. Be careful not to let the pan get too hot or the onion will start to go crispy and this will affect the texture of the pate in the end.
- Add the garlic, sage and thyme and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Move the onion mixture to the edges of the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the chicken livers and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until just cooked.
- Splash over the brandy and Worcestershire sauce and let it bubble for a few seconds. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.
- Once cooled almost completely, transfer the contents of the pan to a food processor and process until smooth.
- Dice the 50g of butter into 10-12 cubes. With the processor running, drop the cubes in one at a time, waiting a few moments before adding the next cube to ensure each cube is fully incorporated.
- Finally, add the cream and process to combine well. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
- Transfer the finished pate to the serving jars or ramekins of your choice. Smooth off the top with the back of a teaspoon or a small rubber spatula.
- The pate can be served immediately but the flavour will definitely improve with a few hours in the fridge.
- Melt the butter gently in a small saucepan. Do not bubble. Once completely melted, remove the pan from the heat and set aside to rest for 4-5 minutes. The fats will sink to the bottom of the pan, leaving you with nicely clarified butter on top. Using a small spoon, carefully spoon the yellow clarified butter only over the top of the pate until just covered. Return the pate to the fridge to set the butter.