Make Ahead

Tuscan Chicken Liver Paté

January 21, 2010
13 Ratings
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Makes about 2 dozen crostini
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 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
  • 5 sage leaves
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
  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. Sauté 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Steve Platt
    Steve Platt
  • Nancy
  • Jaxmccaff
  • Hallie
  • Bryan Schwartz
    Bryan Schwartz

63 Reviews

marjorie L. November 16, 2021
This absolutely the BEST!!! What a flavor.
maxenethebean February 6, 2018
How long will this keep?
Anita May 10, 2016
Delicious and great finding this recipe! I used organic livers, soaked in milk, all the tips from others. Thanks all! I'll offer one too- just saute livers until cooked, evaporate some of the wine but no need to have all absorbed, a few Tbs. left in the pan are useful for a good texture when you puree it. Don't over-cook the livers, they are delicate. The ingredient flavors are fabulous together. A winner and I will use for parties, it is so good warm! And bravo it isn't a typical pate with so much extra butter. This recipe gets away without it
somehow. But a little of the cooked wine liquid is magic. I used dry Manzanilla sherry. Thank you!
Steve P. December 29, 2015
I made this for a recent dinner party and one of our guest described it as the best pate he'd ever had. It is delicious.
gluttonforlife December 29, 2015
So glad this recipe lives on!
Nancy July 28, 2015
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!!
gluttonforlife July 28, 2015
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.)
gluttonforlife August 27, 2015
Thanks for your input; nevertheless I stand by my recommendation to use the best quality organ meats possible.
gluttonforlife August 27, 2015
Yes, thank you very much for expressing your opinion. I defer to you on this matter as I am not a medical professional.
Stefanie H. October 4, 2018
Actually it's the fat that stores the toxins, not the liver.
Jaxmccaff June 10, 2015
Really good and easy. Felt like it was missing a punch of something to me but will make again.
Hallie April 2, 2015
Really decadent tasting, and yet totally economical. And I was 'meh' about paté before but this recipe converted me to a liver lover!
Bryan S. March 16, 2015
Absolutely perfect recipe! Thank you!
Jonathan E. November 23, 2014
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.
Claudia E. February 1, 2014
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.
gluttonforlife February 1, 2014
Ah, nice idea! Though I do recommend you try it with the Parmesan at some point because of the delicious umami boost.
Penny August 3, 2013
Amazing! Thank you!
bricolage July 28, 2013
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.
Melicia March 13, 2013
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.
ChefManuela March 10, 2013
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!
Davis B. February 8, 2013
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
inpatskitchen February 13, 2012
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!!
gluttonforlife February 13, 2012
So glad to see this recipe is still going and that it was a success for you!
Burnt O. November 5, 2011
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.
gluttonforlife November 20, 2011
I hear you weren't the only one! So glad you enjoyed this.
grm November 29, 2010
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:
humblecook November 24, 2010
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.
adashofbitters November 23, 2010
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.
pierino November 23, 2010
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.
adashofbitters November 23, 2010
Oh, don't worry about that. We have Negronis at least once a week. I just wanted to sparkle it up in celebration.
gluttonforlife November 23, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving! Ignore the purists, and don't forget the parmigiano!!
adashofbitters November 23, 2010
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!
lastnightsdinner November 23, 2010
Don't even *think* about it, Dietsch, or you'll be sleeping with the squirrels!
adashofbitters November 24, 2010
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.
thirschfeld November 24, 2010
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.