Velvety duck liver parfait

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 15 mins Plus setting


Serves 6 as a starter or light lunch
A little parfait makes Christmas complete, try making your own with Barney's festive recipe

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Easily doubled / halved

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal535
  • fat50g
  • saturates31g
  • carbs2g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre0g
  • protein18g
  • salt1.11g
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  • 600g duck or chicken liver, or a mix of both
  • 250g pack butter, diced and slightly softened



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 2 shallot, finely sliced



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • splash each brandy or port



    Brandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…

  • 1 tbsp tomato purée

For the topping

  • 100g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 1 tsp black peppercorn
  • toast, gherkin and chutney, to serve


  1. Cut away and discard any large sinews from the livers, then set the livers aside. Heat about a third of the butter in a large frying pan, then gently fry the shallots and garlic for 3-4 mins unti l soft. Turn up the heat, add the livers, then fry until just browned on all sides. Add the brandy and port, boil down as quickly as possible – if the sauce catches light for an instant, then all the better. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool completely.

  2. Season the livers generously, then tip the contents of the pan into a food processor with the tomato purée and remaining butter, and blitz until smooth. Push the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, taste for seasoning, then tip into a serving dish, banging the dish down on the tabletop to smooth out the surface. Place in the fridge to set.

  3. Once the mixture has set, make the topping. Gently melt the butter in a small pan or in a bowl in the microwave, then leave for a min to settle and separate. Pour the yellow butter that has risen to the top into another bowl and discard the milky liquid. Leave the yellow butter to cool slightly, then mix in the thyme and peppercorns. Pour the mixture over the parfait and leave to set in the fridge. Serve with plenty of toast, sliced gherkins and chutney. Will keep for 2 days in the fridge.

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Comments (10)

apalgal's picture

Made this for a starter at Christmas and was amazing! So easy and delicious! I never dreamed I could make anything to good. I served my parfait in individual killer jars with sprigs of thyme to decorate and some green leaves and rustic toast. Wonderful! This will be my go to recipe every year!

gervais's picture

This was so quick and easy to make and was absolutely delicious. i used chicken livers as that was all that was available I will definitely make it again it was difficult to 'save ' some for the Christmas festivities!

goggleeyedsalmon's picture

Absolutely incredible. Honestly one of the best patés I've tasted. Made an excellent impression on Christmas day. Highly recommended.

mccauley36's picture

lovely recipe made it the nite before valentine's! couldn't find duck liver so use all chicken liver taste great and will deffo make again.

superali99's picture

Excellent recipe but perhaps it would benefit from clarification for less-experienced chefs (seeing as it is marked as 'easy') in relation to the correlation between shop-bought weight of the livers rather than the cookable weight, i.e. after the sinews etc have been removed.

If, like me, you buy your livers in a rather rough and ready (but wonderful!) old-school butchers, your livers might not be quite as pre-prepped as those bought in larger supermarkets, so some clarification would assist. For example, 600g shop-bought yields me only 250g cookable product (I pay a very low per-kilo price!) but the recipe should say if the 600g in the ingredients list is shop-bought weight or weight to be added to the pan.

stunningandgorgeousforever's picture

As a very proud (and absolutely wonderful!) mother of five, I can testify that this recipe is like a gift from heaven, and beyond! I make this for my children's entrée every Thursday evening, and every time, without fail, it turns out perfectly, and of course goes without saying that every last bit is gobbled up!!! A 'must do' for all enthusiasts and beginners alike. Spoil yourself! Go on! x

katewhite's picture

Brilliant and easy

colletterae's picture

Great recipe on the whole but think tomato puree is not necessary and a generous glug of cream is good at the point of final final mixing to make the pate lighter.

kateincornwall's picture

I made double this recipe for a christmas starter for my family and our neighbours, and they haven't stopped talking about it since - it really is so simple to make and so beautiful - especially with the butter topping - I served mine on home made melba toasts with some red onion marmalade and the mix was fantastic. I have a little hotel in cornwall and it is going on my starters menu this year for sure!

lindfsw1's picture

I made this for a special birthday meal, using organic chicken livers instead of duck. It is so easy to make, yet really impresses guests who think making homemade pate must be difficult. I added a good splash of brandy, plus put fresh thyme in the actual pate (as I didn't bother with the thyme butter topping). It was absolutely fantastic served in little ramekins with toasted sourdough bread, cornichons and Cumberland sauce. Give it a try.

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