This Easy Chicken Pate recipe for spreading, dipping and freezing is going to tick all of your boxes! A perfect appetizer for entertaining or a lazy weekend. Here is how to make it, with step by step instructions and photos.
Growing up my mum used to make Pate about as often as a Sunday roast! It was her thing and it tasted great!
Appetisers are perfect for entertaining. Try our Olive Tapenade or the Grazing Platter for some ideas to get you started. Our pate and our baked brie with garlic tick a lot of boxes! Rocket and Walnut Pesto is a great quick and easy recipe!
What is chicken pate made of?
Chicken pate is made of a few simple ingredients. Namely chicken livers, sweet sherry, butter, garlic, sage, dried onion, salt and pepper.
Some people shudder at the thought of it and others love everything about it.
It is easy to make and has a refined gourmet quality about it.
Popular as a spread, appetiser and served like a dip, chicken pate is a recipe to feed a crowd.
How do you make chicken liver pate
To make chicken liver pate, you need to follow some simple steps.
The 1st thing you need to do is purchase chicken livers from either the grocery store or the butcher. They can be hard to find as they are seen as a more specialised chicken product. My recommendation is to buy the free range type.
Once your livers are bought you need to drain them and pat them dry.
I like to have a set up on the kitchen bench where I lay out all of my ingredients. It makes it easy when putting everything into the pan as ingredients are measured, close by and good to go. Give it a try, it is such a therapeutic way of cooking!
The photo below shows you the ingredients I use for my chicken pate recipe. All up, we only need 8 ingredients! It might look like 7, but the salt and pepper are key to seasoning and they are shown here in the one bowl (I know, sneaky of me!)
After you have measured out all of your ingredients and you are ready to start cooking, you need to head to your stove top and grab out a medium sized fry pan.
Step by step how to make chicken liver pate on the stovetop
I don't use any additional oil or oil spray like I normally would for this recipe. That is because we are using a decent amount of butter. I figure that is enough!
So you start by adding ¾ of the butter into your pan, then add the garlic and rip the sage leaves in ½ and throw them in as well.
You can see in the photo below the steps I follow for this recipe.
A quick summary is:
- Dry the chicken livers using paper towel
- Add butter, garlic and sage leaves to fry pan
- Place livers into melted butter, season with dried onion, salt and pepper
- Cook livers
There are some who say to cook the livers till brown outside and only a little pink inside. I am of this school of thought, but take it a bit further to ensure any liquid in the pan is also brown. There is no red in the pan, there is no pink visible to the eye. Both sides have been browned and the main colour of the pan is brown (Trust me on this one!)
Chicken liver pate recipe steps
Once you have finished cooking your chicken livers, you will need for them to cool down. It is best to not add hot ingredients to the food processor so I would get busy on the toppings for the pate and come back to this step once they are cool.
Once your chicken livers are cooled, you simply add the entire contents of the pan to the food processor. I use tongs for each step of the process and I recommend you do do. It makes handling them so much easier and is a better process to follow than say picking them up one by one!
Then it is as easy as blending the pate till smooth.
This can be a little bit messy and you will need to scrap the sides of your bowl down every now and then.
How to cook chicken livers for pate?
I know that some people are put off by the idea of chicken livers and I understand that.
They have an unusual texture, are very red and are not the most common part of the chicken consumed by the masses.
For that reason, over time for my chicken liver pate recipe, I have intentionally taken the step to not cut the livers up. I figure if you haven't made chicken pate, but are thinking about it, cutting the livers might be the do or die step that makes your decision. I know, I get it and I am here to tell you it is not necessary.
The chicken livers will cook perfectly well without you ever having to touch them (you will need your tongs again!).
Can I freeze chicken liver pate?
Absolutely you can freeze your pate! I am sure if I drove to my mum's house right now, there would be some frozen pate in her fridge!
Freezing chicken pate is one of the reasons it is so handy. You can use small ramekins to portion it out, then grab one out to defrost and spread on toast!
You can use clarified butter on top of the pate to make it last longer in the fridge, however mum never did that so neither do I! It is funny that is my reasoning for this. To expand on it, I also never liked the idea of a slab of butter on top of anything! A 3rd and final reason is that I think no clarified butter makes for a healthy chicken liver pate.
If you don't think you will get through your batch in 5 days, then once you have finished making it, portion it out and into the freezer for another day.
Pate is the perfect spread for a cheese board, pop it in the centre and crowd it with crackers!
Chicken Liver Pate questions answered:
About the recipe:
- this recipe uses fresh chicken livers
- dried onion saves time and tears!
- we do not cut the livers before cooking
- sweet sherry is the booze of choice
- the portion size is for the batch
Your quick questions answered:
- you can quickly and easily freeze the pate
- fresh sage leaves are best
- minced garlic is best
- wait for the livers to cool before blending
- toasting the seeds and nuts will take 2-3 mins
- This is an EASY recipe
If this pate recipe makes you want to dip everything in soups and spreads, grab a cracker and check out these recipes for inspiration:
- Broccoli Hummus recipe (no cooking involved in this one)
- Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup (best comfort food recipe ever!!)
- Avocado Dip (ermagawd how good are avos!)
- Easy Green Olive Tapenade
- Sun-dried Tomato Tapenade
- Artichoke Olive Tapenade
- Olive Tapenade
Otherwise you might be in the mood for some recipes to keep your toes and your belly warm! If that is the case, then these winter warming recipes are a must!
Winter Warming Recipe Ideas
- Chicken Thighs in Creamy Garlic Wine Sauce
- Blue Cheese Mac and Cheese
- Beef Bean Pasta Bake
- Meatball Tomato Soup
How to serve chicken liver pate
There are so many ways to serve your pate, you will need to make it again and again to test out all of the things you can do with it!
My personal favourite is spreading it on toast as that is how we did it growing up, but these are some other ideas:
- toast points
- crostini (mini toasts)
- corn chips (not as civilised but hey, the pate is fancy enough!!)
- as a centre piece for a cheese platter
This pate is incredibly versatile so have a little fun with it!
How to eat chicken pate?
My favourite thing to do is to add texture to the dish. To achieve this, I use a combination of sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and parsley. This takes barely any time to prepare as you literally portion them out, toast the seeds for 2 mins each, chop your parsley and it is good to go.
The seeds will toast very quickly on the stove top, so turn them off just before you think they are done as the heat from the pan will continue to brown them. After that, place the 3 in a small mixing bowl, stir with a spoon then sprinkle over your pate for texture and visual delight!
This photo shows you our simple ingredients used for the crunchy topping.
Simply toast, sprinkle and serve!
Chicken pate, toasted seeds and fresh parsley, what more could you want. It will curb your hunger for sure.
Chicken Liver Pate
- Food processor
- Medium sized fry pan
- 500 grams chicken livers free range
- ½ tablespoon garlic minced
- ½ tablespoon dried onion
- 5 sage leaves torn in half
- 70 ml sweet sherry Note 1
- 100 grams butter cubed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup fresh parsley
- Drain chicken livers and use paper towel to pat dry. Note 2
- Place a fry pan on the stove and turn it to a medium heat. Add ¾ of butter, garlic and sage. Stir to mix in a little.
- Add chicken livers to the melted butter, season with salt, pepper and sprinkle over dried onion, continue to cook. Note 3
- After 5-10 mins, add the remaining butter and sherry. Note 4
- Use tongs to rotate the livers so that each side is cooked and do this a few times. Continue to cook until there is no red liquid (blood) in the pan as visible to the eye. Note 5
- Remove pan from the stove and set aside to cool.
- Use a small flat pan to toast sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. Rip stems from parsley and then use kitchen scissors to chop finely
- Combine toasted seeds and parsley in a small bowl and use a spoon to stir Note 6
- Spread pate on toast and use seed mix to garnish
- Note 1 many people use brandy for pate recipes, but I like using sweet sherry in my pate recipe as it makes for a very smooth delicious taste .
- Note 2 the temptation may be there to rinse your chicken livers, but try to resist. We need the flavour in the pate and rinsing them would dilute them.
- Note 3 Did you know that chicken livers splatter when they cook! This is more than a little drop of oil from a wok. If they are splattering a lot, you need to turn the heat down and continue cooking.
- Note 4 I expand on this point below, but keep an eye on the butter (remaining ¼ added with the sherry), when it is fully melted, that is about the time that the livers will be properly cooked.
- Note 5 it is possible to overcook your livers. It is also however, possible to undercook them. In this recipe it is better to overcook rather than undercook them if you aren't sure. They need to be fully brown, otherwise your pate will be red and not brown/grey. Overcooking them changes the texture and we don't want that either. So as soon as the juices in the pan run brown/yellow with no red, they are done. If you push the tongs down on one, the juice from it should also be brown/yellow with no red. I kid you not undercooked them the 1st time I ever made pate and my pate was red/maroon from the remaining blood in the livers!! Needless to say we weren't able to eat it. Keep that in mind if in doubt though!
- Note 6 when I toast these, I do them separately. The sesame seeds are so small and delicate so they toast quickly. The sunflower seeds take just a bit longer. To save time you can do them together. All up it only takes about 4 mins to toast. I do about 2 mins for the sesame seeds and 2 mins for the sunflower seeds. The parsley goes into the mix fresh, not toasted.
- Australian and American tablespoons are different. In general 1 tablespoon US (14.8ml) is the equivalent to 0.74 tablespoons Australian (20ml). So when I say ½ tbs for Americans, that is essentially 10ml not 7.4ml. ie you need a little bit more if using an American tablespoon than an Australian one.
Recipe published 12th August 2019, updated 1st April 2020 with some handy tips!
The toasted seeds and nuts will add a lovely texture to your dish and is a fine accompaniment to your pate!
You might love this pate recipe so much that you start to have to for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You will be spreading it on everything that is for sure!!
If you haven't made it in the past, go on give it a go, you know you want to!!
P.S. Spread it on everything!
If appetizer recipes are your thing, then here are some more to float your boat: