I love to serve chicken liver pate with a crispy melba toast and a dollop of something sweet. It’s 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 the 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 seem to get it together to do. 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 haven’t 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.

Here are a few of my favourite recipes for Christmas.

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. I use free0range chicken livers here. 


The best ever chicken liver pate recipe

This is areally easy and delicious chicken liver pate recipe that will instantly become your favourite too.

  • Author: Sam Linsell



250gm free-range chicken livers

125gm butter (and a bit extra to coat the top if desired)

1 large onion (white), chopped

12 cloves garlic, crushed

2 bay leaves

2040 ml brandy

freshly ground black or white pepper (I prefer white)

Thinly sliced stale baguette for the melba


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 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 preheated 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.



PS: I have a little recipe update in case you prefer to use less butter and like to use cream. For this I recommend doing a double batch:

  • 500gm 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 – 4  bay leaves
  • Thyme leaves for about 4 small stalks
  • 125ml cream
  • 80ml good brandy
  • freshly ground black or white pepper (I prefer white)

Follow the instructions as per above, just add the cream after you have added the brandy and allowed it to cook off for a couple of minutes. Then add the cream cook for about another minute or two further.

chicken liver pate with marmalade

A few of my favourite Christmas recipes.


I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.






  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.

  24. Thanks so much for this recipe:) It is easy to make and delicious! I made it with our own free range organic chicken livers, garlic, onion and bay leaves; used Courvoisier cognac – YUM. Thanks again!

  25. Sam

    Oh wow Sonja, cognac takes it to the next level. I’m so glad you love the re ipe as much as I do.

  26. Catherine

    How long can I keep this in the fridge. I
    want to make it for a dinner party and would like to do it ahead of time if possible.

  27. Sam

    I think a good 5 days or so. I would freeze it if you need to keep it longer

  28. Tony North

    We love this pate thank you very much. Just one think mine doesn’t set very well, even after being in the chiller for a few hours it stays like a mousse instead of a solid pate. Could this be too much butter ?

    Would love your advise, thank you.

  29. Sam

    Hi Tony, I’m not too sure because if anything butter – especially if it’s chilled, will firm it up so maybe too little? Mine definitely gets quite firm so I’m not entirely sure what could have happened. I know this recipe is 100% accurate as I have made it so many times as have many readers (see comments). Just make 100% sure you have used all the correct measurements of everything. Allow the liquid to cook off a little more maaybe? Best Sam

  30. Tony North

    Many thanks Sam, really appreciate your reply.

  31. Thanks for this recipe!
    I used about 1/3 less butter… just couldn’t bring myself to use the full amount… and shallots rather than white onion (what I had available). Absolutely delicious!

  32. Sam

    HI Susan, I’m so glad you enjoyed it and agree the amount of butter is rather daunting 🙂 (but butter makes everything better). Shallots would definitely be better than onions too.

  33. Made this pate yesterday and it’s amazing ?. Used a third of the recommended butter (agreed with post above, super daunting!) and it has set quite hard so I’ll use more next time!

  34. Sam

    Hi Rachel, glad you enjoyed it. For me personally, all the butter makes it amazing.

  35. Made recipe for a dinner party. Used a bit less butter and added a splash of double cream and cognac. Was delicious. Like a light parfait/pate. So easy to prepare in advance and every body loved it!

  36. Sam

    HI Elly – I’m so glad you enjoyed the pate recipe.

  37. Charlotte

    Hi, how many does the recipe serve? Can you use a blender rather than a food processor? Many thanks

  38. Charlotte

    Hi, how many does this recipe serve? Can you use a blender rather than a processor? Thanks

  39. Sam

    HI Charlotte, it’s always quite difficult to determine a portion size for pate as it depends on what the occasion is. Mostly people will eat it as a snack. This makes a nice amount (see the picture) so I would say at least 8 people for a substantial snack with a few other things. I’m sure you could make it in a blender just good luck with cleaning it and getting the pate out.

  40. Jennifer

    Hi Sam So no need to do the soaking in milk thing with the livers? Do you ever find they come out stringy? Very keen to try this (as well as ALL the recipes I have just read on the site). Thanks

  41. Sam

    HI Jennifer – thank you and no need to soak. This is my favourite recipe and is very popular on the site. They don’t come out stringy at all. They get cooked down plus get ground up to a silky smooth consistency at the end.

  42. Kath Kynaston

    The chicken liver pate came out the best I’ve ever made, in many years of cooking! Making it again today, for the second time, and hoping it will be equally as good, great recipe!

  43. Sam

    Hi Kath and I’m so glad you liked this recipe. Sam x

  44. Lalani Hyatt

    Oh Sam, it’s just too delicious! my cholesterol level is not going to thank me! Perhaps if I had some control over the amount I consume….naaaah! we live but once and this is to die for! <3 Merry Christmas! x

  45. Sam

    I’m so glad you love this recipe so much Lalani
    sam x

  46. I made this a couple of weeks ago but didn’t have any brandy (nor a suitable substitute) so subbed with a mix of balsamic and sherry vinegar. It was absolutely divine! I have just made a batch with some brandy to share with my family over the Christmas period. Thank you for such a simple yet delicious recipe ?

  47. Suzannah Stewart

    I made my first batch of pate at Christmas, gone in two days, I have just put on another batch (on the stove now, smells Devine) this recipe is the best I’ve used so far,,,, it’s defiantly one for my personal cook book.

  48. Sam

    Hi Suzannah, thank you for the message and Im so glad you love the recipe as much as I do.


  49. I love chicken pate’s. I made this using cognac as I don’t have brandy…..it taste really good.
    Thanks for sharing this recipe. Not I don’t have to buy my pate’s anymore.

  50. Sounds fantastic!

    The livers I bought seen to have a lot of blood in them…would you recommend rinsing them or leaving the blood?

  51. Sam

    Hi Roni, yes if there is a lot then give them a rinse. There shouldn’t be too much but a small amount will cook-off

  52. Nedra Desouza

    I do not have brandy at the moment coz of the lockdown.
    What else can I use instead of brandy?

  53. Suezanne

    I have 500 g duck livers can I just sub these for the chicken? Any idea on converting this to cook using a thermomix?

  54. Sam

    Hi Suezanne, I have not tested this recipe with either duck livers nor do I own a Thermomix so I have no suggestions for you.


  55. Sam

    HI Nedra, sherry or whisky could be nice or even a fruity white wine. or leave it out. It will not taste the same but it could still be nice.

  56. Thanks for the recipe. It is definitely the best ever chicken liver pate. I just made it and it comes out great!

  57. Michael brindle

    Hi great recipe, I changed the white onion to red, and let it caramelise a little, was brill!

  58. Judy Huntwe

    I’m very happy with the result. Can I freeze this?

  59. Sam

    Hi Judy, yes, CLP freezes very well and I always have a few stashed away in my freezer

  60. DeAnn Wylie

    I just made my first-ever roasted duck last night which rendered a lot of lovely duck fat. I was wondering if I could substitute duck fat for all or part of the butter. Also, I now have 3 oz of duck liver, and 12 oz of defrosted free-range chicken liver. I think I’ll make a small batch of duck liver pate and a larger batch of chicken liver pate with your recipe – and then do a taste test.

  61. Sam

    Hi DeAnn I personally wouldn’t use the duck fat in the pate as the butter adds so much flavour and duck fat doesn’t have that. rathe ruse the duck fat to roast potatoes (I have a fantastic recipe on my site just search for best roast potatoes). It will last a few months in the fridge.

  62. Stephen Lloyd

    Love your site, we have lived on Crete for some years now and they do not have pate here so when I found your V easy recipe I thought I would have a go and am sooo glad I did. Scrummy. Thank you

  63. Sam

    Hi Stephen and thanks for letting me know that you loved the pate all the way from Crete 🙂

  64. Hi Sam. Will this recipe work without the brandy? I don’t have any, and alcohol sales are forbidden due to lockdown! If it is necessary I may be able to ask a friend but just checking here first.

  65. Sam

    Hi Harriet – it will work of course but to me, it’s a critical element for the flavour. Whiskey is also nice

  66. Thanks Sam. Good thing, because I found some brandy and made it as per the recipe. Tasted delish! So easy too. Thank you.

  67. Try adding 1/4 tsp of Thyme to this recipe. It makes it complete.

  68. Sam

    Tnaks Michael. Thyme is lovely here too

  69. This pâté is the best I’ve ever had, it’s super easy to make and freezes very well. No need for any other recipe! Even if liver generally turns you off, you’ll still like this version.

  70. Sam

    Hi Tessa, I’m so glad you loved this pate as much as I do

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