RECIPE: Quick Chicken Liver Pâté


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Prepared pate in jars topped with melted butter.
Prepared pate in jars topped with melted butter. – Photo by Nicole Litvack

Liver is widely known as a nutrient-dense superfood. High in iron, riboflavin, copper, vitamin A, and B12, it’s like a super-charged multi-vitamin. Cooking liver presents an opportunity to utilize a part of the bird that is often overlooked. Using all parts of the animal helps to foster a closer connection to our food as well as a greater sense of responsibility when it comes to waste and conscious consumerism. Whipping chicken livers into a tasty and decadent pâté that can be spread on toast or served with fresh veggies makes it an easy snack that even my four-year-old enjoys!  

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pate on toast

RECIPE: Quick Chicken Liver Pâté

  • Author: Nicole Litvack
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6 1x


  • 1 pound organic, air-chilled chicken livers
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted grass-fed butter, divided
  • 2 shallots or 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Flaky salt such as Maldon for finishing


  1. Use kitchen shears to trim away any stringy parts of the livers. Set in a large bowl and cover with milk. Season with salt and pepper. Leave to soak for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Heat 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the shallots or onion. Cook until soft and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Remove livers from milk and add to the pan along with 4 more tablespoons of butter. Season with more salt.
  3. Cook livers for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until brown on the outside and barely pink on the inside. Add the sherry and continue to cook over medium-high heat until the alcohol smell has cooked off. This should take about 3 more minutes.
  4. Remove everything from the heat and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Transfer everything in the pan to a heavy-duty blender or food processor and pulse in 4 tablespoons chopped butter and cream. Add more salt to taste. Transfer pâté to clean glass jars or ceramic ramekins. Melt remaining butter and use it to top the pâté in the jars. This creates a natural “seal” to protect it from oxidation. Top it with flaky salt such as Maldon and seal tightly. Leave the pâté to cool slightly before transferring to the fridge to cool completely or before serving.

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Nicole Litvack
Nicole Litvack
Nicole Litvack is a San Diego–based cook, writer and ceramicist. The daughter, granddaughter, and niece of veteran commercial fishermen, she works as the Fisheries and Content Consultant for Local Fish and Saraspe Seafoods.
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