Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Chicken Liver Pate

I have always loved chicken (and turkey) livers - one per bird, cooked up and enjoyed as a little prize for the cook (that's me).  Occasionally, I've purchased a packet of livers and sauteed them up with onions and served with rice - eaten mostly by myself because while that's some delicious down-home cooking, I've never shared a table with anyone else who liked  them.

I have very occasional cravings for beef liver and onions but I've never made that myself - it's one of those things I look for when I find myself in an old fashioned country restaurant.

I also grew up on liverwurst and braunschweiger (which is pretty much the same thing, only lightly smoked), which are made with pork liver, and managed to even turn Michael (who thought he was a liver hater) onto the joys of liverwurst and cheese on crackers.

So - I am not liver adverse at all... but I am somewhat liver intimidated when I comes to cooking with it at home.

I was somewhat hopeful that now that he'd discovered he liked liverwurst, Michael might find out he was similarly fine with chicken livers, so I decided to try a recipe for chicken liver pate, using  a pound of livers we'd bought at the farm.

Let be right up front - he took one bite and pronounced it 'way too livery' - and it is very livery, so this is for someone who loves liver.  I'm eating it and enjoying it, but it is quite rich, took a bit of time to do, and I probably would have been happier just sauteing them whole and eating them with eggs some night while he had bacon. (Oh who am I kidding - I'd have had them with the bacon, too.) Proving that I am quite capable of still feeling mildly deflated if I'm the only one who likes what I make even though my kids are now out of the house and no longer accusing me of poisoning them at random intervals.  There are so few things Michael doesn't like that I shouldn't feel bad when it happens, but I do. A little.  Or at least question my own tastebuds.

But - I was also happy I tried it and maybe will be brave enough to try something similar with beef liver, which may appeal to him more (you never know until you try).

If you'd like to get liver in your diet but aren't sure you can - small dabs of this, cheese (try cream cheese - or some really good goat cheese if you like strong flavors), and some thin slices of pickle on a cracker or rye bread.  Strong mustard tastes good with it, too. I'm using rice crackers, but some lettuce or cucumber slices would also work as a base.

The basic unattractivenes of pate does not really add to its appeal, does it?
Chicken Liver Pate
(Makes about 2 cups - enough to fill two ramekins)

2 T. grassfed butter or ghee
1 lb. chicken livers (from pastured chickens - the darker the livers, the healthier the birds)
1/2 a large onion, chopped
1/2 cup red wine
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. dried rosemary
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup. grassfed butter (softened)
2 hardcooked eggs, chopped (optional)
sea salt
cracked black pepper

In the 2 T. of butter or ghee, saute the onions until tender (for a richer flavor, slowly cook them until they are caramelized), then add  the livers and continue to cook until just cooked through (don't overcook).

Add the wine, minced garlic, mustard, rosemary,  thyme and lemon juice and simmer, uncovered until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Transfer to a food processor, add the softened butter (a Tablespoon at a time), and pulse until a smooth, creamy paste forms - stop adding butter when this occurs. Salt to taste.

Optional:  Mix in chopped cooked egg if you'd like, stirring to blend.

Transfer finished pate to ramekins and give each a healthy sprinkle of cracked black pepper.

These will keep about a week, but they can be sealed with a thin layer of melted butter, let cool, and then wrapped tightly and frozen for a couple months.

Shared with: You're Gonna Love It Tuesday, Eco-Kids Tuesday, Tutorial Tuesday, Tuesday Greens, Time to Sparkle, The Backyard Farming Connection, Anti-Procrastination Tuesday, Scratch Cookin' Tuesday, Traditional Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Hearth & Soul Bloghop, Fat Tuesday, Family Table Tuesday, Works For Me Wednesday, Wicked Awesome Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Wellness Wednesday, Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, Two Girls and a Party Linky Party, Show & Tell Wednesday, Seasonal Celebration Wednesday, Party Wave Wednesday, Fluster's Creative Muster Party, Down Home Blog Hop, The Creative Spark, Wonderful Food Wednesday, Wheat-Free Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesday, Simple Living Wednesday, Thursday's Treasures, Thursday Favorite Things, Transformation Thursday, Thank Your Body Thursday, Showcase Your Talent Thursday, Hookin' Up with HoH, HomeAcre Hop, Eat-Pray-Love Linky Party, Creative Juice, Simple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Fight Back Friday, Foodtastic Friday, Foodie Friday, Rattlebridge Farm Foodie FridayFresh Bites Friday, Simple Meals Friday, What I Am Eating, Weekend Show Off Party, LHITS DIY Linky Party, Farm Girl Blog Fest, Freedom Fridays, Friday Favorites, Frugal Friday, Pin Me Linky Party, Show and Tell Friday.                              


  1. I wish I liked liver, but I don't. I do, however, know that it's very good for you and so I've been able to figure out ways to hide it in food. Thanks so much for linking this recipe up on Wellness Wednesdays!

  2. Looks revolting! But I too appreciate that it must be incredibly good for you. I was excited to see all the blogs you linked to. Learned a lot today.

  3. Hiding it may be what I need to do to get it into our diet any kind of regularly!

  4. What a great Pate recipe, we would really enjoy it. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday and have a great weekend.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  5. Lol, when I was a little kid I actually really loved liver. I've been off red meat for over 12 years now, but I'm sure this would be tasty :) Happy Easter and thanks so much for sharing this on WNWNW, I’ve pinned it.

  6. Thank you for linking up with my Eat. Pray Love linky party, don't forget to do it again this Tuesday!

  7. Thank you for sharing on foodie friday

  8. Thanks for sharing this at my Pin Me Linky Party. I hope you come visit & link again.

  9. Yum. My Dad always makes a chicken liver pate every year at Christmas. It is so good. Thanks for sharing on Thursdays Treasures.

  10. I grew up on liverwurst too, and still crave it from time to time. Chicken livers however are still a little bit of a stretch for me. I have a bistro cookbook though that has what looks to be an amazing recipe and I have wanted to try making it from scratch.

    Thank you for sharing this at the HomeAcre Hop.

    Look forward to seeing you tomorrow! http://blackfoxhomestead.com/the-homeacre-hop/

  11. Thanks for sharing this with us last week! Hope you join us again at Eco-Kids Tuesday!!

  12. Incorporating liver into our diet is on our list of things to do for our food this year. Thanks for a great recipe and for sharing on Tuesday Greens!