2000s Recipes + Menus

Chicken Liver Pâté

Makes about 2 cups
  • Active time:25 min
  • Start to finish:3 1/2 hr (includes chilling)
September 2008
Leftover quatre épices from our Confit Duck Legs adds mellow depth to this smooth, velvety pâté spiked with Cognac. The classic flavors of this tried-and-true starter served with baguette toasts are sure to brighten any cocktail party. For more recipes inspired by the City of Light, visit our Paris City Guide.
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 lb chicken livers, separated into lobes, trimmed and rinsed
  • 3/4 teaspoon quatre épices (French four-spice blend)
  • 3 tablespoons Cognac
  • Accompaniment:

    crackers or baguette toasts
  • Heat 2 Tbsp butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until foam subsides. Add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Pat livers dry and add to skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, turning once, until browned and just pink inside, about 4 minutes total. Add quatre épices, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp black pepper and cook, stirring, 30 seconds.
  • Add Cognac and tilt skillet over gas burner to ignite (or ignite with a long match; use caution as flames may shoot up high). Cook, shaking skillet gently once or twice, until flames subside.
  • Transfer mixture to a food processor and pulse, adding remaining 6 Tbsp butter, 1 Tbsp at a time, until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and chill, surface covered with plastic wrap, until set, about 3 hours. Let stand at room temperature about 15 minutes before serving.
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