How to make a simple Chicken Liver Pâté


I am a home-cook whose lifelong ambition is to be able to cook whatever I like to eat. And one day I craved a nice Chicken Liver Pâté something terrible, so there was no help for it but to make my own.

Most people tend to grill or pan-fry the chicken livers but I was lazy, so I boiled them instead. I also cheated a little by smoking the cooked livers in a wok for that smoky flavor.

I once served this at a dinner with friends, it was like putting a drop of blood in a pool of sharks. Pâté on!


Simple Chicken Liver Pâté

There is very little that you can spread on well-buttered bread that is as delicious as Chicken Liver Pâté. It’s always handy to have a jar of potted something in the fridge when people drop by or when you’re looking for that midnight nibble.

Here’s a very simple Chicken Liver Pâté recipe which forms a foundation that you can build up by varying the supporting ingredients or cooking method. Pâté is basically mincemeat and fat, so do what thou wilt.

In this recipe, I boil the livers in this recipe as it’s cleaner, faster and easier than frying or grilling for the beginner.

And if you manage to score some duck livers (very hard to find), go with a 1/3 duck, 2/3 chicken liver mixture for that ultra rich taste.

The recipe looks very long but actually it’s not very complicated.

Also, because there are no preservatives, this keeps for about 4-5 days and consume entirely within 2 days once opened.

Ingredients: (serves 15 as appetizers)

  • 1kg of Chicken Livers*
  • 500ml Full Cream Milk
  • 2 tsp of Salt
  • 1 large Onion, White
  • 3 cloves of Garlic (peeled and crushed slightly)
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 5 sprigs of Thyme
  • 1 cup V.S.O.P. Cognac
  • 250g Unsalted Butter, softened
  • Salt & Black Pepper to taste
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

*When you order 1kg of Chicken Livers, it usually comes with the Gallbladder attached, so after cleaning, you’ll end up with about 700-800g of just the livers.


Cleaning the Chicken Livers

  1. Remove and discard the gallbladders and all sinew from the livers.
  2. Inspect the liver for greenish stains, cut out small stains from the liver or discard the liver entirely if too greenish.
  3. Add 2 tsp of salt into a bowl of the Full Cream Milk.
  4. Soak the cleaned livers in the milk mixture for 1 hour to draw out the remaining blood and bitterness.

Cooking the Chicken Livers

  1. Remove the livers from the milk mixture, wash and drain.
  2. Slice the white onion thinly.
  3. Bring a pot of water to simmer and add the onion and garlic to the water.
  4. Once the onion is slightly translucent, add 4 sprigs of Thyme and Bay leaf to the water.
  5. When the water is boiling, add the livers to cook for 3-5 minutes or until the inside of the liver is pink.
  6. Remove the livers and drain.
  7. Remove the onions and garlic and drain.
  8. Remove the herbs and discard.
  9. Reserve 3 tbsp of the cooking liquid.

Making the Pâté

  • Place the livers, onions and garlic into a food processor.
  • Add the cooking liquid and start with a 1/2 cup of Cognac and a 25g knob of butter into the food processor.
  • Blend the mixture, occasionally pausing to add butter, Cognac, salt, pepper to taste and to scrape the walls of the food processor.
  • Process the mixture until smooth.
  • Fill a jar or ramekin with the Chicken Liver Pâté almost to the brim and top off with Olive Oil to form an air-tight seal and place the remaining sprig of Thyme on the oil.
  • Refrigerate for at least 3 days before serving.


  1. The green stains on the livers come from burst gallbladders during butchering. It’s horribly bitter which is why we try to remove it as much as we can or simply discard the liver if it’s too stained.
  2. Duck livers give a deeper and richer taste, if you can find it.
  3. Constantly tasting while blending is important. Goes good with a glass of that Cognac. 🙂
  4. I find that V.S.O.P is just the right grade of Cognac for the balance of smokiness, flavor (vanilla) and sweetness.
  5. Instead of Cognac, you can try adding Port or Whisky. Or Sauternes if you’re feeling rich.
  6. The amount of butter (and Cognac) determines how smooth the Pâté will be.
  7. You may add a little bacon fat in lieu of all butter for a little more depth.
  8. I leave the onions in to provide a bit of textural difference but you can leave them out if you want.
  9. And yes, crispy bits of bacon also add a bit of textural difference and a taste explosion. Just put it into the food processor.
  10. For ultra-smoothness, pass the Pâté through a fine sieve to get a Parfait. But I find most people can’t tell the difference.
  11. If there are leftovers in the jar, top up with Olive Oil to form an air-tight seal before refrigeration.
  12. And Green-Staind Pâté would be a great name for a rock band.





Posted on 15th Dec 2011 in Food and Drink, French, Old School, Recipes


There Is Only 1 Comment So Far | Opening stuck jars of Marmite commented on December 18, 2011 at 12:19 am

[…] can tell that, for me, next to Marmalade and Pâté, there’s nothing finer to put on hot buttered toast. A tradition of mine would be to have a […]

Post A Comment

The comments are closed.


Recent Comments ?hhis is vital a? you would certainl? nnot want a pet dog entrance do?r to open...

Rexic: Would have agreed with you but then I saw Pontian wanton mee with nacho cheese...

ivan: Thanks! I just think it’s a tired argument that doesn’t make sense.

Bugger: Btw, kacang puul looks amazing!

Bugger: Hear! Hear! So called “authenticity” is a great hurdle to emergence of new...

MervC: I like they way they bring out the massive chunk of tuna, and the great knife skills,...

ivan: Yes you are. 🙂

MervC: Look like Hashida Sushi. Am i right?




Cha Xiu Bao

Chubby Hubby

Makansutra Forum

My Inner Fatty

Nibble & Scribble

NYT Diner’s Journal

Only Slightly Pretentious Food

Serious Eats

Tamarind and Thyme

The Girl Who Ate Everything

The Wong List


View Stats