Serves 8 to 10 (makes about 2 cups) | Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes, plus 6½ hours chilling and standing
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large shallots, sliced
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 pound chicken livers, rinsed, patted dry, and trimmed
¾ cup dry vermouth
2 teaspoons brandy
Head Start
Refrigerate pâté, with plastic wrap pressed flush against surface, for up to 2 days; let soften at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
Finish Line
For a sophisticated presentation, transfer pâté to small ramekins or one larger ramekin.
Perfect Pair
Serve as part of charcuterie or cheese plate with pickles , Prosciutto-Wrapped Figs with Gorgonzola , Baked Goat Cheese , and/or albóndigas .
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS A good chicken liver pâté has a smooth, mellow flavor and a velvety texture that seems to melt on the tongue, but bad renditions are all too common. Our recipe circumvents all the potential pitfalls and results in a pâté that is buttery, rich, and very easy to make. Searing the livers to develop their flavor and then gently poaching them in vermouth ensures a moist pâté. A dash of brandy unifies the flavors. It is important to cook the livers until just rosy in the center in order to avoid the telltale chalky flavor that results from overcooking. Pressing plastic wrap flush against the surface of the pâté minimizes discoloration due to oxidation.
1 Melt butter in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots, thyme, and salt and cook until shallots are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add chicken livers and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Add vermouth and simmer until livers are cooked but still have rosy interiors, 4 to 6 minutes.
2 Using slotted spoon, transfer livers and shallots to food processor, leaving liquid in skillet. Continue to simmer liquid over medium-high heat until slightly syrupy, about 2 minutes, then add to processor.
3 Add brandy to processor and process mixture until very smooth, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then transfer to serving bowl and smooth top. Press plastic wrap flush against surface of pâté and refrigerate until firm, at least 6 hours. Let soften at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.