Chicken Liver Pâté

Easy chicken liver pâté with shallots, garlic, brandy, capers and thyme, blended smooth to spread on bread or crackers.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Chicken liver pâté—looks atrocious, tastes great!

In fact, this is one of those instances where you pity the fool who refuses to eat something because it doesn’t look appetizing. And then you’re secretly happy because that means there’s more for you.

Chicken Liver Pate

Chicken liver pâté is perfect for spreading over crackers or toasted thin baguette slices. And unlike so many of the pâtés we make that require a weighted terrine in a water bath, this one is easy to make and takes hardly any time.

You just trim the chicken livers of their connective tissue, sauté them in butter with shallots, garlic, and capers, add a little brandy, and then purée with cream and a little more butter. It’s best serve chilled, and because of its richness, a little goes a long way.

Chicken Liver Pâté Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 16 as an appetizer

If you want, you can soak the chicken livers in milk for an hour or so before proceeding with the recipe. Soaking the livers in milk will take a bit of the edge off the liver and make them taste more mild. This recipe makes a lot. You can easily halve (or double).


  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/3 cup minced shallot
  • 1 pound chicken livers
  • Salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp capers
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup cream


1 Trim connective tissue and fat: Trim any fat or connective tissue from the livers and discard.

2 Brown the butter: Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large sauté pan on medium heat and let the butter brown, about 3-5 minutes. Do not let it burn.

3 Sauté shallots and livers: Add the shallots and sauté for 1 minute. Add the livers. Be sure to space them well in the pan so they can brown more easily. Sprinkle salt over the livers. Flip the livers when one side browns, about 2 minutes.

4 Add capers, thyme, garlic, anchovy paste: Once the livers have browned, add the capers, thyme, garlic, and anchovy paste if using, and sauté another minute.

5 Deglaze with brandy: Take the pan off the heat and add the brandy. (Be careful when you return it to the heat, as it could flame up, especially if you are using a gas range. If it does, cover the pan for a moment.) Increase the heat to high and let the brandy boil and reduce to the consistency of syrup, about 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat and allow the mixture to cool.

6 Pulse in food processor, add butter, cream: Put the mixture into a food processor or blender and pulse a few times to combine. Add the remaining butter and the cream and purée. The mixture will look a little loose, but it will firm up in the fridge.

7 Place into ramekins and chill: Pack the pâté into ramekins or a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before using.

The pâté will last a week or so in the fridge. If you want to preserve it for up to a month, pour a little melted lard or clarified putter on top to seal. Each time you dip into the pâté, you will need to reseal the top to preserve it.

Serve spread on crackers or baguette slices.

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Eggplant Caviar here on Simply Recipes

Julia's Chicken Liver Mousse from Not Without Salt

Italian Style Chicken Liver Paté from Gastronomy Blog

Chicken Liver Pate

Showing 4 of 19 Comments

  • Karena

    Love your pate recipe but unfortunately did not have any capers but will include them next time. So quick and easy and nourishing. Thank you for all that you do. Can’t wait to try your other recipes.

  • Chris

    I made this recipe 2 weeks ago and it is amazing, I skipped the Brandy and used a couple of anchovy fillets, was wonderful. I am making a double batch this morning.

  • Murdy

    “I love pate but I’ve never seen liver/s sold separately. Where would you look for it? Are they sold cooked/raw/frozen?”
    They are sold fresh & frozen. If you are not seeing them by the chicken, ask. They are probably in a freezer somewhere. I’ve never had a problem finding them.

  • Delishhh

    I am going to make this – love pate – very common in Sweden on a sandwich with pickles – as common as cheese. I usually just get the stuff here in Seattle in a german store but going to try to make myself. . .it’s about time.

  • JH

    How long does it take to cook the livers. How do you know when they are cooked? Thanks much.

    The timing sort of depends on the size of the livers and how hot your stove can get. The livers should just be cooked through. ~Elise

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