Chicken liver pâté with sage and brandy

My husband, Matthew Taylor, shares the recipe for his famous chicken liver pâté…

To the offal cynic, the notion of eating chicken livers is generally met with repulsed sneers. But ask them if they want some sage and brandy pâté and they’re licking their hypocritical lips. If it sounds good to you too, read on – pâté is easier to make than you think.

So what do you need?

  • 700g chicken livers (mine came in 350g containers)
  • 1 small onion or 2 shallots
  • A swig of brandy – flambéed if you’re brave.
  • Small handful of chopped sage
  • A handful of mushrooms (I soaked some dried shitake mushrooms for 30 minutes)
  • 150g butter
  • 250g butter for ghee

First, we need to make the ghee. But what the hell is ghee, you may ask, and why do I need it?

Ghee is clarified butter and you can buy it from most supermarkets. But don’t go wasting your hard earned cash just yet – it’s very simple to make. All you need to do is place the butter in a saucepan in an oven on 100 degrees C.

After about 20 minutes, the butter will separate into the clear ghee on top, with murky gunky stuff at the bottom. Just pour off the ghee into another container slowly stopping so the gunk remains in the saucepan. Easy peasy.

Now, on to the pâté…

  • Heat a little oil in the skillet and fry the shallots (or onion) and garlic. Add the mushrooms after a few minutes and transfer the lot to your blender.
  • Fry the chicken livers with the sage. Add a splash of brandy and flambé if you like. The livers should be cooked until they’re slightly pink on the inside – be careful not to overcook them, you don’t want to end up with gritty pâté!
  • Add the cooked livers to the blender, add the butter and a good dash of salt and pepper. Blitz until smooth.
  • Spoon your pâté into containers – I name no names, but someone went through a stage of buying puddings from the supermarket which came in little ramekins which are great for pâté.
  • Gently spoon your clarified butter over the pâté until the pâté is fully covered. Allow the ghee to slightly harden, then store in the fridge.

Make sure you share your pâté with friends and family. They’ll think you’re amazing and it stops you from eating too much. Just be sure to keep a few for yourself, especially if you like bahn mi – pâté is one of the base flavours.

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