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Chicken Liver Pâté

Adapted from David Lebovitz


  • 3/4 c. melted duck fat or butter
  • 1 lb. chicken livers
  • 1 small onion about 1 cup chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large hard-boiled eggs
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. cognac
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • dash cayenne pepper


  1. Remove any greenish or blackish spots from the livers, as well as any sinew. Cut the livers into 1/2″ pieces.
  2. Put about 1 tablespoon of the duck fat in a skillet and saute the onions until browned and beginning to caramelize. This will take 10-15 minutes. Scrape them onto a paper towel-lined plate to drain.  Put in blender container.
  3. Melt 1-2 tablespoons duck fat or butter over medium heat in a sauté pan until foam has subsided. Sauté livers for 2 to 3 minutes, until the livers are just stiffened, but still rosy inside. Scrape into the blender jar.
  4. In the food processor, pulse the hard-boiled eggs a few times, then add the cooked livers (scraping in any pan juices), vinegar, cognac, onions spices and remaining 1/2 cup melted duck fat or butter, then puree until smooth. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper.
  5. Scrape mixture into a pâté mold or decorative bowl and chill a few hours until firm.
  6. Make the Jelly. Place 1/4 c. of warm water in a ramekin, sprinkle unflavored gelatin and let it stand for about 10 minutes.
  7. In a small saucepan heat wine and sugar over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes.
  8. Once the gelatin has softened, add the other 1/4 c. of hot water to the ramekin and dissolve until mixture becomes clear. Add the gelatin mixture to the warm wine mixture and mix thoroughly.
  9. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add cognac. Let the warm mixture stand until it almost reaches room temperature. 5. Once it has cooled, pour over chilled mousse. Return the mousse to the fridge and chill until the gelée has set.
  10. Storage: thew pate will keep for three to four days in the refrigerator or frozen up to two months.
  11. *I wouldn't use ground allspice again because it left the gelee speckled. I might try putting some whole allspice in the liquid when warming it and then removing it before pouring on the pate.
  12. My overall thoughts on the recipe -- it wasn't as deep flavor of pate as some I have had and that may have been because it was all chicken livers. I did use the duck fat which should have added a lot of flavor. I have seen other recipes that blend pork or beef liver with the chicken liver. That will be my next experiment.