Serves a Crowd

The Most Requested Pâté Ever

December 17, 2009
1 Ratings
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves many
Author Notes

I started making pâté quite a few years ago, and with ongoing tweaking have gotten it just right (I think!) whenever I ask friends what to bring to a party the answer is pretty much always "pâté " (or pâté AND ... ha ha) . This is a BIG batch - enough to eat some right away, bring some to the party, and freeze some in case of emergency! I like to serve it with an assortment of savory garnish to balance the sweetness of the pate. —aargersi

Test Kitchen Notes

The flavors in this pate are wonderfully developed and perfectly balanced. The combination of bacon (I used applewood smoked, as suggested), apple, sage and Calvados was excellent. Aargersi says this pate is a hit at her parties and it was loved by all the people I served it to. A couple of notes: After adding the two sticks of butter, the onions stew in the butter and by the time they brown, about 10 minutes, the butter is in the process of clarifying. I’d recommend sautéing the onions in the rendered bacon fat, then adding the butter and the apples. Also, it should be pointed out that this makes a ton of pate, about twice as much as I would ever need at one time. I’d suggest cutting the recipe in half, which can be easily done, and there would still be enough to freeze for future use. —Rural Eating

What You'll Need
  • 2 lbs chicken livers
  • 4 strips bacon (applewood smoked if you can get it)
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup calvados (or brandy if you can't get your hands on calvados)
  • salt and pepper
  • minced red onion - GARNISH
  • cornichon - GARNISH
  • chopped boiled egg - GARNISH
  • capers - GARNISH
  • dijon mustard - GARNISH
  1. Peel and chop the onion. Peel, core and chop the apples. Don't worry about finesse - they will all get ground up later.
  2. Put the chicken livers in a colander, rinse thoroughly, trim membranes and weird green things, and leave them in the sink to drain (note - these can be used to frighten children until you cook them!)
  3. Cook the bacon in the largest skillet you own. Cook it until it is quite crisp, and remove it - set aside.
  4. Add 2 tbs of the butter and onions to the skillet (yes, leave that bacon fat in there) and cook them over medium heat until they are caramelized and a nice golden brown. Now add remaining butter, and the apples and cook the whole lot until the apples are very tender.
  5. Add the chicken livers and calvados, and cook until the livers are cooked through.
  6. Turn off the heat, chop and add the sage leaves and nutmeg, taste the liquid and add some fresh ground black pepper. Break the bacon up and add that too.
  7. Working in batches, put the liver mixture in the food processor and process until fairly smooth - taste as you go and adjust the salt if needed (the bacon adds salt which is why you wait). Put each batch in a large bowl when it is processed so you can mix the whole thing together at the end.
  8. Put in bowls or tupperware, chill, freeze, or keep warm if you are serving it right away. Serve with any or all of the following (I like to put each garnish in a separate little bowl for serving - it looks nice and gives your guests the choice of which they prefer): minced red onion, chopped boiled egg, capers, cornichon, dijon mustard

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • ChefJune
  • candycan
  • Windtryst
  • monkeymom
  • fiveandspice

Recipe by: aargersi

Country living, garden to table cooking, recent beek, rescue all of the dogs, #adoptdontshop

18 Reviews

Carmen M. March 10, 2019
Has anyone tried this with beef or pork liver? I can’t find chicken liver.
sharontesche March 10, 2019
Ask your grocer. Sometimes it’s in the freezer section.
Renee M. May 1, 2014
I'm going to make this tomorrow. I haven't had pate in years, I don't know why really. I guess because my dear hubby won't eat it. I will definitely let you know how it turns out!
ChefJune May 7, 2013
It can't be the most requested pate ever, because I make that.... :) Don't know why I haven't seen this recipe before. I make a similar one with green peppercorns. Have to try it with the bacon. I know we'd love the texture!
aargersi May 7, 2013
bacon makes everything better!!!
sharontesche February 19, 2012
This is very similar to an old Gourmet recipe I made in the late 70's.....still remember it and will definitely try this. Thanks so much for sharing.
candycan September 5, 2011
My first pate!!! used lamb liver, very nice. Thank U Thank U.
candycan September 5, 2011
Made this as my first pate!!!!! wonderful. Thank you, Thank you!
Windtryst March 6, 2011
Well I made this to use as part of a cheese board for a ladies lunch,wish I could send you a photo! Turned out wonderfully! I chilled it, rolled it in Saran wrap so I could cut a slice & serve with a sage flower on top. Thank you for a great recipe, everyone loved it.
The only thing I did differently was soak the livers in milk for a while...
Windtryst March 2, 2011
Will I be able to roll this in Saran wrap, chill and then slice? Or use a small ice cream/cookie scoop and have it hold it's shape on a leaf of endive?
aargersi March 2, 2011
Hey there - I answered on the Magic Pickle as well - it is a fairly loose pate when warm, but it firms up nicely so i think if you allow it to cool first, you should be able to shape it. Another option (just occured to me) is to put it in a terrine lined with saran, then you could just turn it out onto a plate when you are ready to serve ...
monkeymom December 26, 2010
I gave this and bread for christmas presents this year. My brother told me "this pate is the BEST!" I have some stocked away in my freezer and can't wait to get home and have some.
aargersi December 26, 2010
Hi MM I am so glad you like it! It was on our Christmas table too ... nice feeling having some socked away in the fridge too!!!
fiveandspice November 29, 2010
I love pate, but am lacking a food processor so the last time I tried to make some I used one of those handheld blender stick things and it was a minor disaster! I'm hoping for a food processor for Christmas, and then this will be on the list. It looks delicious!!
aargersi December 26, 2010
Did you get your processor? Maybe pate for New Years :-)
fiveandspice December 26, 2010
I did not get a food processor :(...but I did get an old fashioned hand-crank meat grinder, which I'm quite psyched about and which I really think will work for pate - yippee!! :)
monkeymom November 22, 2010
this is so goooood. I made a mini batch and cut back a bit on the butter. I already want to make it again. By the way, I love an emergency that can be cured with pate!
aargersi November 26, 2010
Hi MM - I just saw this - I am so glad you made and liked it! I am due for another batch too