Chicken Liver and Brandy Pâté

This Christmas starter tastes delicious with caramelised onion chutney and toasted sourdough bread

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  • Serves 6

  • Prep time 30 mins

    plus chilling
  • Cooking time 15 mins

  • Total time 45 mins

    plus chilling
  • Skill level Easy

  • Calories 240-180 per serving

  • Freeze yes
  • Prepare ahead yes


  • 125g (4½oz) butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 400g (14oz) chicken livers
  • 2tbsp each brandy and port
  • 3-6 fresh bay leaves
  • 150g (5oz) clarified butter (see tip below)
you will need
  • 1 terrine mould or 6 ramekins


Clarified butter is just butter without the milk solids. To make it, simply melt the butter slowly in a pan. The white milky solids will sink to the bottom. Line a sieve with a piece of kitchen paper and strain the melted butter through it into a jug - you should end up with clear yellow butter with none of the white solids.


  1. Melt 50g (2oz) of the butter in a frying pan and sauté the onion until soft. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute. Remove the onions and garlic and set aside.

  2. Prepare the livers by cutting off any discoloured areas, then wash and dry. Melt another 50g (2oz) of the butter in the pan, season the livers with salt and fry for about 2 minutes, browning on all sides (they can be slightly pink inside). Add the brandy and port, and flambé.

  3. Season, allow to cool slightly then whizz the livers in a food processor with the onions, garlic and remaining butter. Spoon into the terrine mould or ramekins, level the surface and top with bay leaves. Gently pour over the clarified butter, then chill for at least 6 hours. This pâté will keep in the fridge for a week – the clarified butter helps to preserve the pâté, but you don't need to eat it!