I love to serve chicken liver pate with a crispy melba toast and a dollop of something sweet. Its silken smooth so it needs the crunch. The Marmalade offers a bitter-sweet flavour which is rather delicious and quite Christmassy too. If you want to be really wild, stir a splash of whiskey into the marmalade to give it that boozy edge.

chicken liver pate with marmalade

I sort of had an intention to make a clementine jelly to go with the pate, but that plan fell apart when I realised I was running out of year. You know the feeling as you catapult towards Christmas in the silly season and suddenly realise you have bitten off more than we can chew? Literally and figuratively. I once made jelly out of dessert wine which was delectable with this pate.

I had also planned on doing a few more Christmas recipes (as I do EVERY year) – but never got it together either. Note to self to be a bit more organised next year. I love this season and the food that comes with it the most, so I always disappoint myself if I havent come up with something as innovative as my mince pie and frangipane tart, or my apple mince-pie crumble bars (My favourite ever), and my boozy cherry and Christmas pudding strudel with chocolate.  These hot cross cinnamon sticky buns would be perfect for this time of year too. Ah well there is always next year.

In the meantime this is my best ever chicken liver pate which is so very easy to make. I always make a double batch and freeze off ramekins for later use. It’s so nice to pop in a basket for a summer picnic.

chicken liver pate

I have made focaccia melba toast before, or actually melba toast from any good bread, and its also perfect with crispy flatbread, but for these little party canapes I made them from very thinly sliced stale baguette. The marmalade is a very good quality store bought Seville marmalade which has nice bitterness. The free-range chicken liver pate comes from The Butcher Shop & Grill butchery deli. You can read about this lovely restaurant and shop open 7 days a week until 11pm at night here. Situated so conveniently near to where I live on the Atlantic Seaboard.

chicken liver pate – recipe

  • 250gm free-range chicken livers
  • 125gm butter (and a bit extra to coat the top if desired)
  • 1 large onion (white), chopped
  • 1 – 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 20ml brandy
  • freshly ground black or white pepper (I prefer white)
  • Thinly sliced stale baguette for the melba toast

Melt the butter in the pan and saute the onion for about 5 minutes until turning soft.

Add the chicken livers, garlic and bay leaves and cook over a moderate heat, stirring until the chicken livers are just done – about 4 – 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the brandy just before finishing off and allow this to cook for a couple of minutes.

Remove from the heat and let it cool.

Remove the bay leaves and blend in a food processor until it is as smooth as it will go. It takes a few minutes. Season with salt and lots of freshly ground white pepper (to taste). Spoon the pate into ramekins or other serving dishes and cool.

When cool melt some butter (microwave is great) and pour over the pate which looks pretty decorated with a bay leaf. Cool in the fridge until serving.

To make the melba toast slice a stale baguette as thinly as possible and lay the slices out on a cooling rack which you have placed over a large baking tray. This allows for the warm air to flow under and over the bread to dry it out. Bake in an oven pre heated to 150C for about 20 minutes until dried out and just starting to colour. They do not need to be golden brown. Store in an airtight container until you are ready to serve.

If you are making the canapes yourself vs allowing your guests to spread themselves, do so just before serving as the melba toast will soften quite quickly.

chicken liver pate with marmalade

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  1. I LOVE Chicken Liver Pate. I can quite happily eat it straight out the tub like ice-cream and I have been craving it lately. I am now drooling all over my keyboard!

  2. A friend shared a photo of this – she made it for Christmas day – on Facebook. It looked so good I demanded the recipe. I believe she substituted shallots for the white onion, but otherwise it was just like yours and looked just as pretty! I will be trying the recipe soon. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Sam

    Thats awesome Kay – thanks for letting me know and glad you enjoyed 🙂

  4. Thanks so much for this awesome recipe!!! It’s delicious!!! I made it in a tiny frying pan out of ONE chicken liver, because I just happened to have one chicken liver, a trickle of calvados to sub for the brandy, and a fresh New York bagel crying out for something better than just cream cheese. I just found your blog, and I can’t wait to read the rest of it!

  5. Sam

    Thanks Chunghee

    Im so glad you enjoy it as much as I do. Cant believe you did it out of one liver. wow!


  6. Just made it, and it’s gorgeous. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  7. Sam

    Im so glad you enjoyed it Sianny 🙂

  8. thank you for the recipe. can I skip brandy? or it is necessary?

  9. Sam

    Hi Elena – I find the brandy absolutely critical to this recipe.

  10. Oh yum think I’ll attempt to make this at the weekend!! Little question and will sound silly but is it very “livery”! Or mild enough…..

  11. Sam

    Hi Claire – its not too livery at all. I dont eat liver but I eat this. Has so much flavour and all the bay and brandy make it taste delicious.

  12. claire.doyle@clonmeltravel.ie

    Great ! Thanks Sam – ! Merry Christmas!!

  13. I have made this twice now! 2nd time I made a double batch! So delish and freezes well!

  14. Fist time I’ve made chicken liver pate and it was so so easy and probably the best chicken liverbpate ive tasted! Goodness it was yummy!

  15. Sam

    Glad you enjoyed it as much as I did Sarah and why I confidently claim its the best 🙂

  16. Kaye Loffler

    I am going to try this recipe. Will the butter preserve the pate and how long can I keep it in the fridge? Or should I freeze some ? Looks so easy.

  17. Sam

    Hi Kaye, it’s probably best to freeze it if you want to keep it for a while. It freezes very well. Just thaw at room temperature.

  18. Janet W Bain

    made this many times..always double the recipe and freeze in small ramekins. best I have ever had.

  19. Sam

    HI Janet, glad to hear you love it as much as I do and yes, it freezes so well and I do the same in small ramekins.

  20. Christine

    Just loved it! I fried 3 rashers of chopped up back bacon with it. ( as if I need more cholesterol) but I did cut back on the salt, also didn’t have brandy, so added sherry. Thanks Sam a definite keep!

  21. Sam

    That is so cool Christine and glad you loved it as much as I do.

  22. What kind of brandy is best for cooking but not too expensive?

  23. Sam

    HI Carla, I’m not sure where you are from, but I don’t really know, to be honest. I generally only use good quality brandy.

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