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

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

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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.

  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. 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

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