Chicken Liver Pate: Terrine de Foies de Volaille

Total Time:
6 hr 40 min
25 min
6 hr
15 min

6 servings

  • 1 pound fresh chicken livers, cleaned
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons green peppercorns, drained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Cognac or brandy
  • Chopped parsley leaves, for garnish
  • French bread croutons or toast, accompaniment
  • French cornichons, optional accompaniment

In a bowl, soak the livers in the milk for 2 hours. Drain well.

In a large saute pan or skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken livers, 1 tablespoon of the peppercorns, the bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until the livers are browned on the outside and still slightly pink on the inside, about 5 minutes. Add the Cognac and cook until most of the liquid is evaporated and the livers are cooked through but still tender.

Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Discard the bay leaves.

In a food processor, puree the liver mixture. Add the remaining butter in pieces and pulse to blend. Fold in the remaining 1 tablespoon peppercorns and adjust the seasoning, to taste.

Pack the pate into 6 individual ramekins or small molds, about 4 ounces each. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 6 hours.

To serve, place the ramekins on individual plates. Garnish the tops with parsley and surround with croutons. Serve with cornichons on the side.

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    can you use goose liver?
    Excellent, easy recipe. This will become a firm favourite and I'll pass it on to all my chicken liver-lovin' friends !
    I couldn't help but share this review from another reviewer. Hillarious! (The pate is AWESOME! 
    "I have a question for Cheryl who lives in Livermore, CA. If you don't like chicken livers, why would you think you would like Chicken Liver Pate? Or, if you don't like livers, why would you want to live in an awful sounding place like Livermore?"
    I love chicken livers and frequently travel to eat it in recommended restaurants. This is by far as good as any pate in any restaurant. It is so good I get requests to make for events and dinners. Bravo Emeril!
    @ LeBiz - the use of the milk is not for a marinade but rather soaking the livers in milk draws out blood and mellows the gamey flavor of the meat. I increased the amount of green peppercorns by another tablespoon because I was specifically looking for peppercorn pate and this is pretty close to filling my expectations.
    Easy to make and always a crowd favorite.
    Made this for the first time and served it to family tonite. Everyone from the 4 year old granddaughter to grandpa loved it. I followed the recipe except substituted Capers for the green peppercorns and cooking sherry for the Cognac. I am going to finely chop a bit of black truffle to add next time.
    Technically speaking this is a mousse and not a pate since a food processor is used and its not cooked in the oven. The first time I tried this recipe I followed it to the letter but found the results a little bland. I also found the use of milk for the marinade wasteful since its not used later on.  
    So here is what I did: I marinated the livers in whiskey for 24 hours, drained the livers and then used the whiskey at the end of cooking. Since I live in Madagascar duck grease is easily available so I replaced the butter with duck grease. The results were exceptional because it tasted just like foie gras.
    A little too meaty as published, in my opininon. I added a splash of heavy cream with the brandy, and then chopped some fresh herbs to add before chilling. I had dill, italian parsley and just a touch of basil on hand....chopped together and added it to the mix brightened up the flavor so much....will definitely be experimenting more with this in the future 
    This was a great recipe and very easy, I am going to use duck liver next for a different swing on the recipe. Thanks Emeril and as always "BAM"! 
    Great taste !!! Easy to make. Great for any occasion !!!
    Emeril.....all I can say is UNBELIEVABLE!!! The best I've ever had.
    This is the best chicken liver pate recipe I've made to date! The pate is very rich and smooth. I wanted a bit more of an earthy flavor so I diced a small package of fresh shitake mushrooms, sauteing half with the onions and reserving the other raw half to fold into the puree at the end (I wanted to add a bit of texture. Its looks fantastic as you slice into the pate and see the little morsels of mushroom scattered within.
    This is delicious. I had very high expectations and they were definitely met. I used brandy, and not anything special, but was careful to let it really cook off by simmering it at a low temperature. I also used a dried peppercorn medley, 1 tablespoon total, because I couldn't find green peppercorns. Regardless, the result was an extremely smooth, rich, and fragrant pate.
    I've made this many times, and it is always a hit. As someone else stated, if you can't find the peppercorns, capers are a good substitute. A good brandy can also substitute for the cognac, and it certainly does not cover the flavor of the liver, as some have said. One last thing- my wife is fat content conscious, so when starting, I use extra virgin olive oil with the butter and decrease the butter.
    I am making this AGAIN!! This has become my favorite pate recipe ever......We are heading to a Derby Party tomorrow evening and I am bringing it. Everyone who has tasted this just loves it. I found the reviews very helpful. I found out that I could freeze this without any harm. Still tastes great. Had no trouble finding the peppercorns. THE BEST!!
    GREAT recipe. Very easy and better than my husbands family recipe. Thanks Emeril.
    Best chicken liver pate yet! (that I have ever tempted to make that is). Simple and delicious, I couldn't wait the 6 hours to chill. I did use clarified butter on the top when finished and it gave it a nice creamy texture. I used brandy as I didn't have cognac and could taste the chicken liver very nicely. I didn't have green peppercorns so I substituted capers. Will make again and saved the recipe for later.
    After reading all the reviews, I thought this had to be the best recipe to try, but I was disappointed, it's not what I expected. I happen to like the taste of liver, but in this recipe the cognac overpowered the liver to a point that you cannot taste the liver at all. It's not a bad recipe, just not to my taste, especially since I like my chicken liver pate to taste like chicken liver.
    I decided the other day that I wanted to serve pate as an appetizer for my huge (40 ) Thanksgiving dinner this year. Anyway, made this two days ago -- the first time I'd ever made pate. Last night, had some friends over for dinner and asked them to taste-test for me. By the end of the night, there wasn't a single bit left!! I had to make more tonight!! Like another reviewer, I also sealed two of the molds with butter and left one unsealed to test. The taste was the same, but the butter-sealed ones did look slightly more appetizing, so I'll probably do that when I serve it for Thanksgiving. EXCELLENT!
    THE BEST! I did change 2 items, I didn't have green peppercorns on hand so I added 1 tbls. super hot horse radish to it and 2 drops of tabbassco to and IT KICKS! YUMMY!!
    I made a lot of different liver pate. This is my favorite
    I did not expect this to have the immense amount of flavor that it did... It is setting right now in the fridge, but of course I couldn't help but to taste. Wow. This is really an excellent recipe. The green peppercorns add a tartness that is perfect... don't skip them.
    I have a question for Cheryl who lives in Livermore, CA. If you don't like chicken livers, why would you think you would like Chicken Liver Pate? Or, if you don't like livers, why would you want to live in a awful sounding place like Livermore?
    I was trying to figure out something small to make to take to a dinner party this weekend and I'm so glad I tried this recipe. I had everyone taste it at work and they all fell in love with it. One thing I changed though was instead of covering with plastic wrap I pored some clarified butter on top and that sealed it. Thanks for this recipe this is definitely my favorite.
    I couldn't find the green peppercorns, so I used the pink instead. It doesn't matter, this is the best recipe I've encountered. I substitute shallots instead of yellow onion and add a 1/3 cup of black currants. Crazy delicious. Obviously, you have to like the taste of liver. It's not for everyone. People who appreciate deep fried Velveeta are not going to appreciate this. My problem is how to make it more appetizing? I've encrusted it in finely chopped egg or candied pecans, but how can I serve it unadulterated? I've added Worchestshire to give it a more brown color, and the currants, but once it's chilled, pates take on a gray color. Once they taste it, they're sold. What can I do? I'm looking for recommendations, so please help.
    Much better than the pates I have made that requires hours of cooking in a bain marie. I add some diced Black Forest ham for a coarser texture. To the person who wanted to know if it can be frozen...yes, it freezes very well.
    I am wondering if can be frozen.... it made alot. ! thanks delicious !
    This pate has all the flavors you'd expect, and more. To the lady who threw it out after 2 bites: You obviously don't know how to follow a recipe or expected more of a traditional country pate. This is the best.

    We couldn't find the green peppercorns by themselves, but did find the dried ones in an assortment of black, red, and green. After separating them, I hydrated them for the period of time that the livers were soaking in milk. Super!
    Be careful, though, if you don't like a bite of peppercorn. The green is milder than the black, but it's still pepper. Don't forego the amount of pepper, but you may want to grind it into the food processor with the bulk of the ingredients.

    The french cornichons are snooty (small dill gerkins) and don't do anything for the taste of the pate. Serve this great pate on a water cracker.
    I had never made pate before and i found this recipe to be super easy and fast to do. I did forget to buy green peppercorns, so that is one ingredient I did not add, but I must honestly say that i don't see how it could have possibly been any better! Definately something I will be making again and again.
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