Chicken liver & pineau pâté

Chicken liver & pineau pâté

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(27 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 10 mins Plus chilling


Serves 6-8 as a snack or starter
A rich, sweet pâté recipe using pineau - a sherry-like aperitif - great as a dinner party starter.

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal263
  • fat20g
  • saturates11g
  • carbs1g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre0g
  • protein18g
  • salt0.95g


  • 500g chicken livers
  • 100g butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 100g unsmoked lardons or chopped streaky bacon
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried


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

  • 5 tbsp pineau or sherry
  • herb sprigs to garnish, rosemary, thyme or bay
  • toasted brioche or raisin bread and cornichons, to serve


  1. Rinse the chicken livers and cut away any dark patches and small stringy threads. Pat dry with kitchen paper. Heat 25g of the butter in a frying pan until foaming, then add the lardons or bacon and fry until crisp. Add the garlic, chicken livers and thyme and fry briskly for about 5 mins, until they are evenly browned. They should be nicely browned on the outside, but pink inside and should feel squashy when pressed.

  2. Add the pineau, salt and pepper, then bubble for a few mins. Remove from the heat. Blitz the mixture in a food processor until smooth, then spoon into a jar or dish. Smooth the top.

  3. Melt the remaining butter, put a herb sprig or bay leaf on top of the pâté and pour over the butter, leaving the sediment behind. Leave to cool, then chill until set.4 Serve spooned from the dish with toasted brioche, a bowl of cornichons and a little sea salt.

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Comments, questions and tips

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2nd Oct, 2010
I made this last week and everybody really loved this I also added more garlic and added brandy. Found the sieving hard work to make it smooth but worth the effort. Will definately be used next time when I have friends round.
9th Aug, 2010
This is the first time I've made pate and can't believe how easy and delicious it was. Will definately become a firm favourite recipe. Have made it 3 times and used red wine in one batch and port in another as well as the sherry in the recipe and all 3 batches were equally as delicious.
25th Jul, 2010
I think it needs more garlic and herbs. Mine didn't turn out very well: it was very dark in colour with a dryish, pasty texture. I must have over-cooked the livers although they were still pink. Anyone know what level of pinkness is safe? If the juices are slightly red still is that ok?
17th Jul, 2010
I have just made a version of this. I did not have the Pineau, but went for Cognac, plus shallots, thyme, 2 x cloves of garlic. I also pushed through a sieve twice for a smooth texture and now just finished by potting, with a couple of sprigs of home grown bay leaves and sealed with clarified butter. Can't wait to taste with some homemade walnut bread later.
22nd Sep, 2009
I have not made this recipe yet, but to answer the last reviewer's question, yes, I have frozen a very similar home-made chicken liver pate before. It was just fine.
19th Jul, 2009
This was the first time I made this recipe it came out brilliant and very tasty, I did not have any sherry so I used brandy... I was wondering if it is possible to freeze the pate??
4th Jul, 2009
Pineau is like a sherry that they make in the south of france in the Charentes. but you can buy it in this country in some waitrose supermarkets.
28th May, 2009
Julie, you can use sherry if you can't find Pineau.
23rd May, 2009
Really looking forward to having a go but can not find "Pineau" anywhere. I live in london, wimbledon area, has anyone any ideas on where I can find it.
30th Apr, 2009
The best chicken pate recipe I have come across, very easy and quick. I have altered slightly with 3 cloves of garlic instead of 1, also half teaspoon of dried aromatic herbs & half teaspoon of dried bay powder. But apart from keeping an eye on the livers as not to overcook this is really easy and great for 4 small pate pots.


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