Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Luxury chicken liver pâté

Prep time over 2 hours
Cook time over 2 hours
Serves 4
This is the perfect Christmas day starter using chicken livers, a wonderful low cost yet luxury ingredient.


  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the shallots and thyme and cook gently for five minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic, spices, orange zest and a good pinch of salt and pepper and cook for a further two minutes, or until fragrant.

  2. Add the chicken livers to the pan and fry for 6-8 minutes, or until just cooked through. To test, remove a piece of liver from the pan and cut it open; it should be moist but no longer bloody (a little tinge of pink is fine). Remove from the heat and spoon everything into a food processor. Blend until smooth.

  3. Add the brandy to the pan to deglaze, then add the cream and bring to a simmer. Cook for two minutes, stirring up any of the residue from the pan. Pour into the food processor and blend again until smooth. With the motor running, gradually add the cubed butter and blend until smooth.

  4. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl and then divide between four ramekins. Smooth the tops down by banging the bottom of the ramekins against the work surface, then place in the fridge while you prepare the butter finish.

  5. Melt the butter in a saucepan with the ground mace and spoon over the pâtés. Sprinkle over the orange zest and thyme leaves to decorate. Refrigerate for two hours before serving with slices of toasted sourdough bread and cornichon pickles.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs thyme, leaves only
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 orange, zest only
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 400g/14oz chicken livers, trimmed of any membrane and gristle, roughly chopped
  • 50ml/2fl oz brandy
  • 100ml/3½fl oz double cream
  • 120g/4½oz unsalted butter, cubed

For the butter finish

  • 80g/3oz unsalted butter
  • pinch ground mace
  • ½ orange, zest only
  • 2 sprigs thyme, leaves only

To serve

  • slices toasted sourdough bread
  • 20 cornichon pickles

Shopping List

Luxury chicken liver pâté

Fruit and vegetables

Tins, packets and jars

Cooking ingredients


Dairy, eggs and chilled

Meat, fish and poultry


This link may stop to work if/when the BBC removes the recipes
This site is under development - You can use it, but some things are not completed and may not be quite right!