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Nov 18, 2010 08:20 AM

Killer pate recipe?

I'm looking for a real knock-your-socks-off chicken liver pate recipe. Something a little out of the ordinary, totally decadent...something that screams "special occasion"! I mean I could do standard cognac and/or peppercorns, but I already *have* those recipes. Anyone have something fabulous they want to share?

Thanks in advance

PS I will be sure to credit your great aunt Agatha or whoever's recipe it is ;-)

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  1. No idea whether or not this is the type of thing you're looking for, but it's the Pate Maison from The Silver Palate Cookbook. I haven't made it in years, but back in the day I never had a party at which it wasn't served, I used to make crockfuls of it to give as hostess gifts, and it was one of the most popular items sold in their store.

    8 Replies
      1. re: themags

        Pates generally freeze very well. I would have no issue freezing the Pate Maison recipe (or making it, delicious.)

        For the OP - Here's a Julia Child recipe option, from an older thread, plus some pate freezing info:

        This recipe got rave reviews from posters here last year:

        Whatever you do, serve the pate at room temp or even slightly warmed for maximum flavor.

        1. re: bushwickgirl

          Thanks! I'm not sure about the BLT one - the thread I read before posting actually didn't seem to like it that much? Also seems like a lot of salt - too much. I think I'll try the Silver Palate. Need to freeze as trying to get a head-start on Xmas!

          1. re: themags

            I meant the recipe links for the OP actually and the freezing info for you, confusing, I know; the BLT recipe contains fine sea salt and pink salt; although having the same amount of sodium as other salts, sea and pink salt possess different flavoring qualities. It may seen like a lot of salt, but chicken livers are bland and need some pretty agressive seasoning, as pate is often served at room temp or chilled. Nothing worse than underseasoned pate. There's nothing saying you can't cut back on the salt measure, if you think it might be too much.

            Anyway, you've chosen your recipe and it'll be great tasting , and freeze just fine.

            1. re: themags

              FWIW, despite the review, I went ahead and made the BLT recipe for Thanksgiving; I usually make a different one that my family loves but they ate up the BLT Pate like ravenous dogs. It ended up in my "Really Good" recipe file :)

              1. re: stephle

                Good to hear! Did you use the full measure of salt?

        2. re: JoanN

          I just made this and followed the recipe exactly. Including $20 for a small bottle of Calvados.

          The finished product has a strong, bitter after taste. This was not due to bad liver as we ate several straight out of the boiler.
          The after taste has hints of nutmeg/cloves.
          Researching other recipes for pate, I wold modify this one by cutting the Calvados to 1/3 and the other dry spices to 1/4.

          Any comments from others who have used this recipe??

          1. re: subal

            Sorry to hear it didn't work for you. As I said, it's been a number of years now since I last made it, but I did make the recipe as written more than a dozen times and never had that problem. The recipe makes three cups. One-quarter teaspoon of ground cloves and one-half teaspoon grated nutmeg doesn't seem out of proportion. I always used freshly grated nutmeg, but even if you didn't I can't imagine it would make that much of a difference.

        3. I haven't made this, but it looks really good.

          Pistachio Pate (Pate Parisienne) by Pierre Franey and Craig Claiborne. It contains veal, pork shoulder, chicken, chicken livers and pistachios. Here's a link to the recipe from 1986:

          1. I'm copying and pasting my house recipe here, in case you want it... It's okay, I can do that because I hold the copyright.

            Country Pâté with Provençal Herbes

            Country pâté is standard picnic fare in France—probably because it carries well and tastes so good.

            makes two 9 x 5-inch pâtés (approximately 3 pounds each) – in recent years I’ve taken to making the pâtés in smaller loaf pans. They make great hostess gifts that way!

            3 pounds livers ­ (pork liver will give you the best flavor, but chicken
            liver is acceptable)
            3 bay leaves
            2 whole heads garlic, coarsely chopped
            1 cup dry French vermouth
            2/3 cup Cognac
            1 ½ pounds garlic and herb pork sausage, removed from casings
            ¾ pound smoked ham (nitrite-free if possible), coarsely chopped
            2 cups hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
            2 tablespoons each chopped fresh thyme and marjoram
            1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
            5 shallots, finely chopped
            1 pound prosciutto-type ham, julienned and hand cut into tiny chunks (weigh after all fat has been removed)
            16 ounces crustless bread, processed with ¾ cup milk
            3/8 cup Sercial Madeira
            ½ teaspoon each ground mace and allspice
            ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
            ¼ cup well-drained nonpareil capers (if you can only find large ones,
            coarsely chop them)
            fresh sage leaves for decorating the pâtés

            1. Put the livers in a glass bowl with the bay leaves, garlic, vermouth and Cognac. Cover. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
            2. The next day, allow the mixture to come to room temperature. Purée everything in a food processor fitted with the metal blade, then pour into a large bowl you can use to assemble the whole mixture.
            3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the sausage from its casings and cook over medium-high heat, separating it, until it is crumbled and cooked through (make sure there is no pink meat). Process the sausage by using short pulses, until a coarse texture has been achieved. Add to the liver mixture.
            4. Process the smoked ham until it is like coarse meal. Add to the liver and sausage mixture.
            5. Add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl, stirring to make sure everything is well blended. Cook a teaspoonful of the mixture and taste for seasoning.
            6. Arrange 3 or more fresh sage leaves attractively in the bottoms of 2 9x5-inch terrines or loaf pans (I prefer ceramic or glass). Pack the pâté mixture evenly into the pans. Cover each loaf with aluminum foil (shiny side in).
            7. Position the oven rack halfway down in the oven. Place the prepared pans in a large baking pan which you have placed on that rack. Pour in enough very hot water to come halfway up the sides of the loaf pan (bain marie). Bake for 1 ½ hours.
            8. Remove the pans from the water and allow to cool on an oven rack for 30 minutes. Then weight the pâtés (in their pans) overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, unmold the pâtés and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. If you want to freeze them, place these packages into zip-lock freezer bags. (Stored this way, it keeps almost indefinitely!)

            2 Replies
            1. re: ChefJune

              This looks fantastic, very different from my standard country pâté, and I look forward to making it. Thanks so much for posting it. Have you ever frozen it uncooked? That is how I normally freeze my pâté.

            2. I did a really nice one where I substituted strained bacon fat for part of the butter. It's not all that healthy, but it adds a lovely smoky flavour to the end result.