Chicken Liver, Port and Thyme Paté

Paté: a simple starter, a party nibble or a lavish snack – have it as and when you please. This recipe is a wonderful addition to the Christmas and New Year food list over the festive break.


800g chicken livers
120ml Ruby Port
100g unsalted butter
2 shallots
2 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper for seasoning
1 bay leaf
Fresh thyme
Sprig of Rosemary
Orange zest
2 eggs
100ml single cream
100ml clarified butter

Chop the shallots and garlic as finely as you can. Fry gently in a of pan melted butter, until soft. Stir in the bay leaf, three springs of thyme and rosemary. Then lower the heat and pour in the port and simmer very gently on a low flame for ten minutes.
Add the livers and fry until brown with a pink centre. Do not over cook them, as this will make the livers difficult to pass through a sieve later and ultimately make the texture of the paté grainy. Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool. Crush the livers with the back of a fork to start the smoothing process and mix in the eggs and cream. Then using the back of a spoon, push the livers and port reduction through a sieve. The resulting mixture should be smooth with a rosy-grey tint from the pink livers and port. You may think it does not look all together appetising at this moment but don’t worry.

Pour the paté into six ramequins and cover each tightly with a bit of foil. Place the ramekins in a warm water bath – use a roasting tray and fill with hot water to half way up the ramekin height.

Place carefully in a preheated oven on 160° for 30 mins. Then remove and allow to cool.

Clarifying the Butter:

In a thick based pan, melt 175g of unsalted butter very, very slowly. Do not be tempted to stir it. Just watch the butter sink into itself and the liquids will begin to separate. Be careful as the butter may spit.

Skim off the white pieces – these are milk solids. What is left is a clear golden liquid; the clarified butter. Allow it to cool.

Pour the butter over the surface of the cooled paté in the ramekins. A thin layer 1/2 cm will do. Sprinkle the surfaces whole peppercorns, orange zest and fresh thyme leaves. Then place the pots into the fridge to allow the tops to harden.

This is great dish to make up in advance. Keep chilled for a couple of days to bring out the best of the flavours.


One thought on “Chicken Liver, Port and Thyme Paté

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s