Recipe: Chicken liver pate

45 g/3½ tablespoons butter

2 shallots, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

75 g/3 oz. pork belly (rind removed), diced

200 g/7 oz. chicken livers, chopped

A pinch of freshly chopped thyme, plus extra to decorate

1 tablespoon brandy

2 bay leaves

A squeeze of fresh lemon juice (about 1 teaspoon)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Black and pink peppercorns, to decorate


Heat 20 g/generous 1 tablespoon of the butter in a frying pan/skillet over medium heat, until melted. Add the shallots and garlic and fry on their own for 1 minute. Add the pork belly, chicken livers, thyme and brandy, season with salt and pepper, and stir. Put the bay leaves on top and let them soften, if you are using dried ones. Cook, stirring regularly for 10 minutes, until everything is browned and the chicken livers are cooked through.

Remove from the heat and let cool until the mixture is warm, not hot – don’t let it cool completely, otherwise the ingredients will dry out. Remove and discard the bay leaves.

Put the mixture into a food processor (don’t wash the pan yet), add a squeeze of lemon juice and whizz. It’s up to you how coarse you like it. I like a quite smooth pate, so I process until the mixture sticks to the sides. You can also pulse for a short time and keep some chunks, if you prefer. Spoon the mixture into a dish (or into separate ramekins) and level the surface so that the melted butter can go on top.

In the same frying pan/skillet you were using before, melt the remaining butter over medium heat, until it starts to bubble, and then remove from the heat and pour over the top of the pate. Decorate with a little extra thyme and some black and pink peppercorns. Move the pate to the refrigerator and the butter will set in about 1 hour.

Serve with Wholemeal Crispbread or Home-baked Oatcakes, plus a little Fig Chutney to sweeten, if you like.

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