Tuscan Chicken Liver Paté

By • January 21, 2010 59 Comments

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Author Notes: An old boyfriend, obsessed with all things Italian, taught me to make this deliciously intense spread that rivals anything your Jewish grandmother served. Olive oil and butter replace the schmaltz and this version has one touch I've never seen anywhere else: parmigiano reggiano. Serve this with traditionally thin crostini or thicker grilled country bread, and maybe even a garnish of fried sage leaves.gluttonforlife

Food52 Review: gluttonforlife's Tuscan Chicken Liver Paté is a rich dose of umami spread on grilled country bread. Unlike typical French versions, this Tuscan paté gets its seasoning from anchovy, capers and parmesan -- giving it a well-rounded, nuanced salting -- in addition to aromatic sage, shallot and garlic. Cooking the wine down in two stages helps draw in every bit of flavor from the deep brown fond along with the gentle acidity of the wine. For a looser, more mousselike spread, we recommend that you don't let all of the liquid evaporate from the pan, but you can always adjust the consistency as you buzz it in the food processor by drizzling in olive oil, water or even wine (depending on how unctuous or boozy you like your paté). Be sure to dry the livers well and wear an apron -- they spatter and pop like mad. - A&MThe Editors

Makes about 2 dozen crostini

  • 1 pound organic chicken livers
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 large clove garlic, smashed
  • 3 anchovy filets (or 1 tablespoon anchovy paste)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, minced
  • 4-6 sage leaves
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
  • grilled country bread, for serving
  1. Trim any sinews from the livers and dry well with paper towels.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Sautee the shallots, garlic, anchovy, capers and sage until shallots are lightly browned, 6 minutes or so.
  3. Season the chicken livers with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook over high heat until browned, then add half of the white wine (1/3 cup) and keep stirring with a wooden spoon, breaking up the livers as they start to cook through. When the wine is absorbed, add the second 1/3 cup and repeat the process.
  4. Remove from heat and transfer to a food processor. Process until quite smooth, then add lemon zest and cheese and process again. Taste and add salt or pepper as needed. Serve warm or at room temperature to spread on grilled country bread.

More Great Recipes: Game & Offal|Appetizers|Side Dishes|Bread|Olive Oil

Topics: Holiday Entertaining

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Comments (59) Questions (2)


about 1 month ago Nancy

Wow! Wow! Wow!! I just finished making this and it is bananas! I love the addition of the lemon zest and parm. Definitely adds that umami flavor everyone talks about. My chicken livers were from Whole Foods and not organic. I did soak in milk with some Kosher salt for 2 hours, don't know if that's necessary but I went by other reviews so I guess I'd do it again. This smelled amazing cooking and tastes like heaven. I am excited to serve at my next get together. Thank you!!


about 1 month ago gluttonforlife

Love that this recipe lives on here! It's a perennial favorite of mine. (But do find organic in future if at all possible, as the liver is the body's filter and thus prone to store toxins.)


5 days ago f52

That is untrue. The liver removes toxins and processes them, but it's not as though it's a warehouse for toxins.


5 days ago gluttonforlife

Thanks for your input; nevertheless I stand by my recommendation to use the best quality organ meats possible.


5 days ago f52

Using quality meats is always reasonable but the specific argument as to why you should is not, IMO.


5 days ago gluttonforlife

Yes, thank you very much for expressing your opinion. I defer to you on this matter as I am not a medical professional.


3 months ago Jaxmccaff

Really good and easy. Felt like it was missing a punch of something to me but will make again.


5 months ago Hallie

Really decadent tasting, and yet totally economical. And I was 'meh' about paté before but this recipe converted me to a liver lover!


6 months ago Bryan Schwartz

Absolutely perfect recipe! Thank you!


9 months ago Jonathan Enoch O'Gara

Amazing recipe! Great flavor balance, and the cheese makes it have a distinct Italian flair. Whatever you do, DON'T go over on the lemon zest; too much ruins an otherwise lively paté.


over 1 year ago Claudia Eftimie

Delicious. I replaced the parmiggiano with 1 hard-boiled egg, to get consistence whilst keeping the taste focus on the liver, it worked beautifully. Thank you.


over 1 year ago gluttonforlife

Ah, nice idea! Though I do recommend you try it with the Parmesan at some point because of the delicious umami boost.


about 2 years ago Penny

Amazing! Thank you!


about 2 years ago bricolage

I have made this a few times and it is pretty fantastic.
A couple notes: buy the best livers you can find, you can really taste the difference between a good quality chicken liver and a bad one, try soaking in milk for an hour or two before using them.

I up the amount of anchovy in this recipe as I like that extra salty punch.


over 2 years ago Melicia

I made this a few weeks ago and was amazed. Added a bit more lemon juice then the recipe called for and let it hang out for 24 hours in the fridge. Perfect.


over 2 years ago ChefManuela

Usually we don't use shallots but onions, shallot is not that common in Tuscany, on the other congrat for using anchovies, when we teach we always give the option and no one wants it!
Manuela www.cooking-class-authentic...


over 2 years ago Davis Bliss

Ok, I always HATED chicken livers as a child(my brother & mother had a corner on that market). However, I have been seeing so many tantalizing pictures of terrines, rillettes & pates of late that I figured it was time to take the plunge. This recipe came very highly recommended, waas easy & fun to make, and absolutely delicious, a great meal in the middle of a blizzard with a bowl of sauteed kale & chick peas. Thank you


over 3 years ago inpatskitchen

I just finished off the last of this...made it for my dad and his wife as part of their birthday dinner the other day. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!!


over 3 years ago gluttonforlife

So glad to see this recipe is still going and that it was a success for you!


almost 4 years ago Burnt Offerings

I just made a double batch of this to take to the Food52 DC cookbook launch party tomorrow afternoon, and a small dinner party tomorrow night. It is stupendous! Thanks for making me look good.


almost 4 years ago gluttonforlife

I hear you weren't the only one! So glad you enjoyed this.


almost 5 years ago grm

I want to add some context. This recipe is very good, but I made it side-by-side with a "plain" chicken liver paté, (no cheese, no anchovy, more liquor in the deglaze) and I have to say that if you have very good, fresh chicken livers, this recipe does not enhance the flavor of the livers the way that a simpler preparation does. I don't have a recipe for what I made (maybe I'll write it up), but this is by the same person that I learned from: http://www.foodandwine....


almost 5 years ago humblecook

I made this last night and it was so sensational my husband and I sat down and ate it warm straight from the food processor - this is a faboulous recipe, so simple, yet such rich flavours - thank you for sharing it.


almost 5 years ago adashofbitters

I'm getting ready to put this together today, as part of our Thanksgiving festivities. I'm planning to pair it with an Americano Royale, if you will. An Americano is ordinarily Campari, red vermouth, and soda. I'll be subbing Prosecco for the soda, because that's my brand of crazy.


almost 5 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

Now, if you want my brand of crazy make Negronis. The cocktail of the Italian "futurists" back in the '20's. Equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, campari. A few drops of bitters. Prepare in an ice chilled shaker.


almost 5 years ago adashofbitters

Oh, don't worry about that. We have Negronis at least once a week. I just wanted to sparkle it up in celebration.


almost 5 years ago gluttonforlife

Happy Thanksgiving! Ignore the purists, and don't forget the parmigiano!!


almost 5 years ago adashofbitters

Just finished assembling this. It's delicious, seriously. It's only because I fear death that I'm keeping myself from eating it all today!


almost 5 years ago lastnightsdinner

Don't even *think* about it, Dietsch, or you'll be sleeping with the squirrels!


almost 5 years ago adashofbitters

I've discovered there's a name for this concoction of Campari, vermouth, and prosecco: Negroni Sbagliato.


That's cool. I suspected I wasn't the first to combine those ingredients.


almost 5 years ago thirschfeld

I made the liver pate about 4 months ago and after tasting it I hid it in the back of the fridge and ate it every morning for breakfast when no one was around. Think I will have to bust out another batch and actually share it this time. Gonna have to give the cocktails a go too.


almost 5 years ago sgold72

We just spend 2 weeks in Tuscany and my husband order the chicken liver pate every lunch and dinner...can't wait to surprise him with this recipe!! Can't wait to make this!


about 5 years ago thirschfeld

Just finished making this and I am eating this for breakfast right now. I am afraid I won't be able to stop. This is going to the top of my liver pate list.


about 5 years ago thirschfeld

I just took 33 cornish game hens to the processor and one of the things I am going to do first is take the livers and make your wonderful looking pate. I can't wait


over 5 years ago csheago

This was first try at homemade pate and it was wonderful, thank you. I soaked the livers in milk for 2 hours before just to mellow them out a touch; I wanted to go slow. I also added some sliced white mushrooms to the saute and they added a little body and an earthy hint to the final product and to the sage. Delicious.