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.

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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

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

43 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Carmen P

    My husband and I love pate and there is only one restaurant in town that serves it for an appetizer. I came across this recipe and decided to try it, my husband said it was the best he has ever had. Thanks for sharing, will be making again for the upcoming holidays.


  2. Kirsten L.

    I made this for my son after his chemotherapy to help him recover and regain weight. He asks for it regularly. I can’t tell you how much this means for me and my family. Thank you thank you thank you!!


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  3. Ramon

    This pate recipe is awesome! I’ve made it 4 times now and it gets better and better each time. My first time making it I used sherry instead of brandy. It came out a little sweeter than the ones with brandy. I can’t use garlic (my wife is allergic) nor the anchovy paste. I truly love this simple recipe. Thank you!


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  4. Jean Dunk

    Just wondering, the 1/4c cream that you mention in your recipe, is that heavy cream? Or will a lighter cream (10%) suffice?

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Siti Vandermeij

    Made this twice and it is absolutely delicious!
    First attempt was good but as I don’t have some ingredients and it was a bit dry. Second attempt was glorious and I doubled the recipe! Just that i left out anchovies paste, I store it in 100ml glass jar so it feels like a treat and kept fresh! I freeze the rest so that they last longer!! Thank you so much for the recipe!!


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