Thursday, July 26, 2012

Classic French Chicken Liver Pate - another maiden

We took a week night out to visit our friend's bistro and catch up over a cider beer. K is passionate about experimenting with different recipes and for a whole hour, we talked only about food. Inspired by the chicken liver pate he served us, I immediately checked some classic recipes and wahla, here's another maiden dish by an extra virgin chef. Another easy one. Really.

Good idea to use different size dishes for different occasions.  I gave these away to many friends, my poor guinea pigs - they all politely accepted.
Butter will help coagulate the pate.

Choose a good cracker. Pay for it. Seen here is whole grain thin rye crisp bread with sourdough rye.

(You can half everything for lesser portion. They can keep for several weeks.)

1 kg chicken liver, trimmed of sinews and fats
3 blocks or 750g good quality butter, diced
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 large onion, or 3 small shallots, finely chopped
1 bunch fresh thyme leaves
3 Tbsp brandy
1 tsp grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
50g butter for topping

1. Wash liver and gently pat dry with kitchen paper.
2. Melt 30g butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion/shallots and saute for about 5 minutes until softened but not brown.
3. Add liver and thyme and cook stirring frequently for 3-4 minutes. Liver should turn brown on the sides but keep the insides pink so they do not become rubbery.
4. Pour brandy and cook for another 10 seconds, then add remaining butter and nutmeg to the pan. (Remember to leave some butter for topping.)
5. Ensure all butter are softened, then puree the mixture in batches in a blender until smooth. Some restaurants sieve them for an even smoother texture but if you like it rustic like I do, the blender is adequate. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Spoon the pate into individual ramekins or small dishes. Melt butter reserved for topping and pour over the pate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Serve with crusty bread or hot toast. Or if you are on low carbo, serve with carrot and celery sticks. Remove from fridge 10-15 minutes prior to serving so it softens slightly. This helps remove the chill from the dish which deadens the flavours.

My first attempt and it was well received by a big group of friends. My mom who loves chicken liver, finds it repulsive though, LOL. Warning: it's heavy on butter, so go slow on this. But Julia Child also says, "With enough butter, anything is good."

By the way, do you know the difference between brandy and cognac? Well, I just learned that cognac is a type of brandy grown in the Cognac region in France. Duh.


  1. I often do this type, my husband likes it very much, so do I:)

    1. Really? Can you tell me the difference between this recipe and yours? Also, in terms of look, how different does mine look from yours? Would love to hear back from you since you do this often!

  2. Ooh, yum! I have never thought about making this at home, this looks great!

  3. I think I'm in the same camp as your mom, hee...heee....Actually I've never tasted pate so perhaps its premature for me to draw a conclusion. Anyway, its great you got it right on your first try.

    1. Hey PH, the next time you're in a restaurant, check if they have this and order it to try.


Tell me what you think. I want to know.