Why make chicken liver pate?
Chicken liver pate is the perfect appetizer to serve when hosting dinner. It can be made the day before and it requires no preparation on the day. Simply take it out of the fridge and serve with easy Scottish oatcakes.
I feel like the fact that it comes from French cuisine effortlessly gives it an added element of fanciness. And if you needed another reason to make this, it is, of course, delicious!
Tips for making chicken liver pate
Chicken liver pate is very easy to make. Just chop the onions, cook till translucent, add the liver, port and thyme, cook another 5 minutes and blend!
I suggest pouring it into individual 4- ounce Ball mason jars. I think the quilted crystal ones are so pretty. And if your guests don’t finish (unlikely but it’s possible) then you can easily give them the leftovers by putting the lid on.
The pate will be quite runny when it first comes out of the blender because the butter in the mixture will be melted, however, after a few hours in the fridge it will set. Once you’ve poured it into the mason jars you can place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pate before you chill it to prevent a crust forming.
Personally, I prefer to cover it with a thin layer of melted butter and sprinkle the butter with fresh thyme leaves. If you use grass-fed butter it has a very attractive yellow color that complements the brown of the pate nicely. It’s also just fun to break through the layer of chilled butter to get to the pate underneath.
Notes on ingredients for chicken pate
Liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the human diet. It is a great source of a surprising range of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A and B12. It has a glycemic load of 0 which is great for PCOS.
Generally speaking, offal (organ meats) are less popular than other meats. This often means they are cheaper. More nutrients for less money? Yes please! One of the reasons people are less fond of organ meat is the taste, however, due to the butter and the port in this recipe it has a much milder flavor.
Let me start by saying alcohol is not good for PCOS, although it can be enjoyed in moderation. In this recipe however, because the port is reduced, most of the alcohol is burned off.
Port is fortified wine. It typically comes in three styles: ruby, tawny and white. For this recipe I recommend using ruby (red) port. The flavor profile of ruby port compliments the liver better than tawny or white port.
Another major difference is the color. Grass-fed butter is a beautiful golden yellow due to a pigment called beta carotene found in grass and flowers. If you’re going to use butter as part of the presentation of the dish, I think it’s important that it looks as attractive as possible.
Shallots have a more delicate and sweet flavor than other types of onion but it’s not always easy to find them in the supermarket. I find yellow onions make a good substitute. You can also use white onions but they make my eyes water so much worse than any other type, I tend to avoid them!
When substituting any other type of onion for shallots, just make sure the volume is the same. Shallots are smaller than other onions so two medium shallots is equal to about one small yellow onion.
There are various herbs you can use to flavor pate like rosemary or sage but thyme is my absolute favorite. There was a study done in 2013 that showed thyme can boost your mood which possibly why I love the smell of it so much.
You can use fresh or dried thyme in this recipe. I prefer to use fresh because I can add a liberal amount to the melted butter layer without being afraid of overpowering the pate with thyme.
A bunch of fresh thyme keeps well in the vegetable drawer of a refrigerator for about 2 weeks. It’s also possible to grow thyme in your kitchen if you have a lot of sunlight.
Easy Chicken Liver Pate Appetizer
- Wooden spoon
- Chopping board
- Sharp knife
- Six 4-ounce ball mason jars
- 8 tbsp butter
- 2 medium shallots, or 1 small yellow onion peeled, finely chopped
- 1 pint chicken livers (approx. 1 lb)
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tsp dried plus extra to top the pate
- ⅓ cup red port
- salt, to taste
- 2 tbsp butter, to top the pate
- Melt 4 tbsp of butter in a skillet over medium heat until it begins to foam. Add the shallots or onion. Saute until translucent. Be careful not to allow them to brown.
- Add the liver, port and thyme and bring the heat to high. Stir the livers occasionally until the wine has reduced and the livers are brown but still soft and pink on the inside. This should take about 5 minutes.
- Place the mixture in a blender with 4 tbsp of butter. Process until smooth. Add water to loosen if necessary. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
- Pour into the six 4-ounce mason jars and gently shake to level the top and release any air bubbles. Top with melted butter and sprinkle with thyme leaves. Refrigerate until firm about 2 hours.
- This will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.