Chicken Liver Pâté

Chicken liver Pâté is easy and simple to make.
Chicken liver Pâté is easy and simple to make.

Chicken Liver Pâté is silky smooth, cheap and easy to make at home.

Ever seen chicken livers at your butcher before? That’s because you have to ask for them specifically. They should be no more than $5/lb and when cooked correctly, nothing will impress your company more. With the flavors of onion and cognac, you’ll be transported to the streets of France when eating this on a toasty baguette.

Pâté is a classic French dish that is not as commonly eaten in the United States. Americans are not as fond of this dish since the main ingredient is chicken liver, but this organ meat is low in calories while not only full of protein, it is also full of Iron and B12 and Riboflavin.

Looking for other french dishes? Try the recipes for more French recipes:

What Pairs Well with Chicken Livers?

Many ask, what pairs well with chicken livers? It seems like a risky hors d’oeuvres that your guests will either fawn over or hate. While chicken liver pâté is great just with some toasted bread, you might want to serve it with something else on the side. Or, your guests may want to skip the organ meat altogether.

Artichoke dip or olive tapenade make great accompaniments to the pâté that might be sitting out on the counter.

Ingredients for Chicken Liver Pâté

  • Chicken Liver: The key ingredient for pâté. Ask your local butcher for fresh chicken livers. They should be no more than $5 a pound.
  • Shallot: Shallot is like a sweet onion and will add a great flavor profile to your chicken livers.
  • Sweet Yellow Onion: The sweet onion pairs well with the shallot.
  • Thyme: I always prefer to use fresh thyme, but using dried thyme will work just fine if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Cognac: Always use alcohol when cooking chicken liver. In this recipe, I used a cognac but you can replace it with a sweet sherry or even a red wine.
  • Garlic: A necessary flavor profile that is added to the chicken livers.
  • Butter: Butter was my choice of fat when frying up the livers but you can also use a neutral oil instead if you prefer. Using butter will really bring out the natural flavors of the chicken livers and add the fat that they need since the livers are such a lean cut.
  • Salt & Pepper: Adding freshly cracked pepper and a pinch of salt to the chicken livers while they are cooking will really bring out the natural flavors.
  • Baguette: Toasted, for serving.

How to Make Chicken Liver Pâté

First, go through your chicken livers and check that they are clean. Cut off any green bits or extra connective tissue. Discard. Put the livers in a bowl with milk and let soak overnight if you have the time. This will extract the metallic taste and any bitterness from the livers.

Second, you will want to melt the butter and sauté the onion and shallot in a large frying pan. When fragrant add the garlic and thyme. After about two minutes, add the chicken livers to the pan.

Third, make sure the livers are cooked evenly by flipping them every couple of minutes. The livers should only take 8 to 10 minutes to cook over medium heat. When they are halfway cooked, add in the cognac brandy. Cooking the chicken liver with a bit of brandy will give the meat a rich sweet flavor that is desired when eating pâté.

Fourth, the livers are cooked when they are rosy on the inside. Be careful not to overcook the livers, as they will be grainy and sandy when overcooked, making them inedible.

Fifth, add all the contents from the pan into the food processor. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and serve with toasted baguette and chopped chives as garnish.

Chicken Liver Pâté

5.0 from 2 votes
Recipe by Sarah
Course: Appetizers, sidesCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time







  • Trim. Go through your clean your chicken livers. Cut off any green bits and extra connective tissue.
  • Sauté. Melt your butter in a large saucepan and sauté your onion and shallot until fragrant. Then add the garlic.
  • Livers. Add your cleaned chicken livers to the pan and sear them on all sides. Cook over medium heat until they are rosy on the insides. The livers should cook for about 10 minutes total. Add salt and pepper while the livers are cooking.
  • Cognac. Add in your alcohol when the livers are about 3 minutes from being done- after about 6 minutes of cooking.
  • Process. When the livers are done cooking add them to your food processor and process until smooth. Taste the pâté, and if it is too dry, you can either add oil or more melted butter.
  • Taste. Taste your final product and add more salt and pepper or butter if need be. If not, transfer to a bowl and serve immediately with slices of toasted baguette.


  • If you have the time, add your cleaned livers to a bowl of milk to extract some of the natural bitterness and metallic taste that comes with chicken livers.

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  1. Pingback: Sarah Dickens (sarah5001) | Pearltrees

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