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Ballymaloe Chicken Liver Pâté.Harry Weir.

Ballymaloe Chicken Liver Pâté With Melba Toast

This Ballymaloe recipe for chicken liver pâté is perfect for any time of year.

Serving: 10-12
Time: 1hr 30mins +
Difficulty: Medium


  • 225g fresh organic chicken livers
  • 200-300g butter, cubed
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 225g clarified butter, to seal the top
  • Melba toast or white bread, to serve


  1. Wash the livers in cold water and remove any membrane or green-tinged bits. Dry on kitchen paper.
  2. Melt a little butter in a frying pan; when the butter begins to foam, add in the livers and cook over a gentle heat. Be careful not to overcook them or the outsides will get crusty; all trace of pink should be gone.
  3. Add the crushed garlic and thyme leaves to the pan, stir and then de-glaze the pan with brandy, allow to flame or reduce for two to three minutes.
  4. Scrape everything with a spatula into a food processor. Purée for a few seconds. Allow to cool.
  5. Add about 225g butter. Purée until smooth. Season carefully, taste and add more butter, if necessary.
  6. Put into individual pots or one large terrine. Tap on the worktop to knock out any air bubbles.
  7. Clarify the butter by gently heating it in a saucepan. Allow to stand for a few minutes. Spoon the white layer of salt particles off the top and discard. The clear liquid butter is the clarified butter. Spoon a little over the top of the pâté to seal. Discard the milky liquid.
  8. Serve with melba toast or hot white bread. This will keep for four or five days in a fridge. It is essential to cover the pâté with a layer of clarified or even just melted butter, otherwise it will oxidise and become bitter in taste and grey in colour


Use duck livers instead of chicken for a richer flavor. You may need to increase the amount of butter used.