Spiced Chicken Liver Pâté

There’s nothing like an appetizer of pate to set dinner off to an elegant start. Smooth, creamy, rich, and with a little tinge of mineral funk from the livers, this is a dish that says sophistication. But, it’s also quite easy to make! Sauté some ingredients, grind some warming spices to give it some depth of flavor, blend everything together with cream and butter, chill, and there’s your pâté, ready to impress! I like to serve mine with whole grain mustard, pickled onions, and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, but anything salty, sharp in flavor, and a little crunchy will work beautifully.

Spiced Chicken Liver Pate;

It also makes for great leftovers. I like to eat it in a somewhat informal version of a bahn mi sandwich -- spread some pâté on a halved baguette, top with your lunch meat of choice, some pickled jalapenos, maybe some pickled carrots if you have those on hand or raw if you don’t, a handful of cilantro, and a smear of mayonnaise.

Spices used in this recipe

Peppercorns, Tellicherry, Grinder
Allspice, Whole
Cloves, Whole
Coriander, Seeds Whole
Salt, Italian Sea (Fine)
Salt, English Flake Sea



  1. Heat a small pan over medium heat and toast whole spices until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a spice grinder and grind until fine.
  2. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 Tbs. of the butter. When the butter stops foaming, add the onion and cook for about 4 minutes, until softened. Add the livers to the pan with a sprinkle of salt. Cook the livers on one side until they start to brown, about 4 minutes. Flip the livers and cook for another 4 minutes on the other side. The livers should be brown on the outside and pinkish in the middle, with no red juices running out when you cut into them. The 4 minutes per side instruction is just a guideline -- use your best judgement to determine when they’re done.
  3. Allow the livers to cool slightly, then pour the entire pan into a food processor or blender. A blender will give you the smoother consistency. Add the rest of the butter, the cream, the spices, and the brandy and puree until the mixture is silky smooth. Add salt to taste.
  4. Scoop the pâté into a bowl or other serving dish like a large ramekin. You can also put a portion of it into a small dish and reserve the rest in the fridge. Chill the pâté for about 3 hours, until cold and fully set. Serve with bread or crackers, some pickled red onions, and some whole grain mustard, if you like. I also like to sprinkle mine with English Flake Sea Salt before serving -- it adds pops of salt and a nice crunch!

Serves 10.

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