Chicken Liver Pate

Chicken Liver Pate
From Ina Garten

Now that Thanksgiving is officially over, I can finally do my annual useless blogger duty and post the stuff I brought to my family’s dinner a week too late for it to be of any use to you.  On the plus side, there’s always Christmas, and this year’s line-up is pretty transferable.  That is, of course, if you come from a giblets/offals/variety meats loving family.  We had initially offered to bring a cheese and charcuterie platter to add to my family’s appetizer table, and it was really just supposed to be a fancy name for cheese and sausage crackers.  But 4 days before Turkey Day, I suddenly had the urge to locate, cook and mash up a few chicken livers (I assume this is a common urge…no?).  As it turns out, despite its lofty price tag on fancy French menus, pate is dirt cheap to make.  A pound of chicken livers cost us about $4 at Whole Foods, making it perhaps the cheapest thing Whole Foods sells.  The duck fat, also located at WF’s, was a little pricier at around $8 for a tub, but it’s a big tub and we’ve got plenty of ideas for ways to use the leftovers.  I really don’t see any way this recipe could go wrong, as long as you’re sure the recipients are old school liver-lovers…or new school, considering my 6th grade cousin took to making pate-cracker sandwiches with it all night!


  • 1 lb chicken liver
  • 1/2 cup rendered duck fat, divided (or chicken fat, if you can find it, or butter if you can’t find either of them)
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1/6 cup Marsala wine (or Madeira, or Sherry, or Port)
  • 2 eggs, hard-boiled, cooled, peeled, and cut into chunks (see our Deviled Egg recipe for instructions on cooking perfect hard-boiled eggs)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • pinch of cayenne pepper


  1. Drain the livers and pat them down with paper towels to remove extra moisture.
  2. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the duck fat.
  3. When fat is melted and hot, add livers.  Cook about 1-2 minutes per side. You don’t want to overcook them or they’ll be super dry.  They should be brown on the outside and still pink on the inside.
  4. Use tongs to pull livers out of pan and set aside in a large bowl.
  5. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons more duck fat to the skillet.  Saute onions until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.
  6. Add Marsala to the pan, scraping the bottom with a wooden spatula to deglaze all the yummy bits.  Stir for about 15 seconds.  Pour onion mixture into the bowl with the livers.
  7. Add eggs, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, cayenne and remaining 4 1/2 tablespoons of duck fat to the bowl and stir to combine.
  8. Place mixture in a food processor and pulse to desired consistency – 6 or 7 times for more of a chopped liver result, 10-15 times for more of a creamy pate.
  9. Chill before serving.

Makes a LOT of pate – probably about 2.5 cups.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

3 Responses to Chicken Liver Pate

  1. Frank Dodero says:

    I can’t imagine how anyone would not think this is an excellent apetizer, but then again I am a liver lover (not the Hannibal Lector type just your normal variety). When I was a boy one of my fondest memories was going to the local diner with my father and ordering liver & onions & bacon. I might have missed it, but I’m sure you have a recipe for that dish.

  2. Doreen Dodero says:

    Even though your Dad has fond memories of eating liver, my memories are sitting at the dinner table for what seemed like hours, staring at a plate of liver, having to eat some of it. This recipe is for the odd people who actually love liver.

  3. MOlly Ryan says:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *