05 November 2010

Port and Chicken Liver Pate

Over this past Winter I made my first foray in to pate making.  Thanks Dish.  Now after a few incarnations I have one I can call my own.  It is creamy, yet savoury and terribly moreish.  Actually really easy to make and will store superbly in the freezer. It would also make a lovely little festive gift with a nice wee jar of homemade chutney or relish.

Port and Chicken Liver Pate
For the pate
250g fresh chicken livers

60g butter, divided in half

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 tsp thyme, finely chopped
1 tsp sage, finely chopped
1 tsp dried wild oregano, regular dried oregano or marjoram would work just as well. You could even use a little fresh oregano, just don't over do it as it is quite potent.
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/4 cup port, I used Ascension Vineyard's Tawny Port but use your own personal favourite.

1/4 cup cream

Salt and pepper

Clean the chicken livers and trim out any sinew. 
Heat half the butter in a frying pan and add the onion, garlic, thyme, sage, oregano, bay leaf and season well with salt and pepper - don't be shy with the seasoning.  Cook slowly over a low heat until all cooked down and could be easily mashed with a fork (except the bay leaf). Remove the bay leaf and put the onion mixture in to a food processor.
Reheat the saute pan with the remaining butter. Add the chicken livers and allspice and season well. Cook gently until the livers are just pink in the centre, but be careful not to let them brown.  Using a slotted spoon, add the livers to the food processor with the onion mixture.

Increase the heat, add the port.  Let it bubble up for a minute or 2. Put everything in to the food processor. Season again, yes again it does need it I promise. With the food processor going, slowly pour in the cream. Process for a good 4-5 minutes until the pate is very smooth, scraping down the sides to make sure it is all combined. You really do want a lovely smooth pate.
Spoon the pate in to serving dishes, I like to use 2 to 3 little pottery bowls that can just be taken straight out the freezer, defrosted and then they are ready to go straight to the table.  Cover the top with plastic wrap, carefully push it down on to the surface to completely seal out the air, refrigerate or freeze. 

Serve up with fresh crusty bread and a spicy fruit chutney.  Yum!



  1. This looks wonderful, I make my Pate with whisky or the traditional masala.
    I have never used the cream and will give it a try next time. Thank you for the inspiration.

  2. Thanks Sarah, good to get some feedback :) I might have to try it with whisky the next time. M

  3. right.
    so I remembered your recipe here when I wanted to make some pate, I didn't have port but I used whisky instead, the cream was a great addition, it made it more moussey like.....


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