Jacques Pépin’s Traditional Chicken Liver Pâté

Made from bird livers, Pâté is one of those things you either love or hate, there is no middle ground. I have eaten it ever since I was a small lad and my favourite is chicken with green peppercorns.

Edit – People have told me there is a middle ground if I would just stop mentioning that it is made from livers. 🙂

This is my first attempt at making it so I wanted to use a recipe from the amazing French chef, Jacques Pépin. The result was amazing and gave me the confidence to experiment with new ingredients going forward.

  1. Cooking the chicken livers
  2. Pureeing the livers with butter
  3. Setting the pâté over night
  4. Serving
  • ~230g chicken livers
  • 1/2 small brown onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 120g butter
  • 2 tsp brandy
  • Cracked black peppercorns to taste
  • Additional butter to seal jars (optional), melted
  • 1 chef’s knife
  • 1 chopping board
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • 1 medium saucepan
  • 1 wet blender
  • Plastic wrap
  • Jars or small bowls/ramekins
Cooking the chicken livers
  1. Bring enough water to cover the chicken livers to a boil.
  2. Add:
    • 230g chicken livers
    • 1/2 small brown onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves
    • 1/2 tsp table salt
  3. Reduce to a simmer and cover, stirring occasionally, until livers slightly pink in the middle.
  4. Remove pan from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
20181004 chicken liver.jpg
I hated liver as a boy but now….yum!



Pureeing the livers with butter
  1. Take the bay leaf out of the saucepan.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the livers, onion, thyme and garlic to a wet blender.
  3. Add the 120g butter.
  4. Blend until you get the consistency you like (I like a smooth mousse texture).
  5. Add 2 tsp of brandy and blitz again, adding salt and pepper a bit at a time to get the taste you like.
Setting the pâté over night
  1. Scrape the pâté into your jars, bowls or ramekins, gently pressing out any air pockets.
  2. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pâté and refrigerate until firm. Serve chilled.
  3. The pâté containers can also be covered with a thin layer of melted butter before being wrapped in plastic.

The jars look oh so fancy if you top them with melted butter and some herbs to keep out nasties.


I love smearing pâté on water crackers, sandwiches and even on toast. Another guilty pleasure is topping  a thick beef steak with large amounts of Pâté and slices of melted cheese!





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