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What’s cooking today: Brandied chicken liver pâté



What’s cooking today: Brandied chicken liver pâté

Tony Jackman’s brandied chicken liver pâté, served in a Mervyn Gers Ceramics bowl. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Brandy is a chicken liver pâté’s best friend, although butter is a strong rival in the besties’ stakes. Flaming the simmered onions with brandy adds a tremendous depth of flavour.

The chicken liver pâtés I make are usually textured, in that I prefer not to blend them too finely; I like the “country pâté” style. But this one rings the changes, flaming with brandy during the brief cooking and then blending the mixture quite finely, though not so finely as to be a parfait.

Chicken livers need less time in the pan than more, so I set light to the brandy with the cooked onions and garlic, rather than after the livers had been added and cooked.

The completed and blended pâté can be topped with melted butter and refrigerated for up to a week.


500 g chicken livers, cleaned

1 red onion, finely diced

2 fat garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 thyme sprigs, picked

100 g butter and 3 Tbsp more

3 tots brandy and another for luck

⅓ cup cream

1 heaped tsp Hot English Mustard

Salt and black pepper

5 Tbsp extra melted butter if refrigerating before use


Remove the connective tissue in the livers with a small, sharp knife. Chop the onions and garlic. Melt 3 Tbsp butter and add the onions and garlic, simmering gently until softened but not taking on much colour.

Careful now: Holding the pan away from anything above it that could catch fire, add the 3 tots or so of brandy and put the flame to it. Roll the pan slightly from side to side while it burns away.

Put it back on the heat and add the thyme leaves and another tot of brandy, for the uncooked liquor to give it a bit of a kick. Stir in the mustard and cream, season with salt and black pepper, heat through, then add the chicken livers. Cook them, turning often, for 2 or 3 minutes until all sides are browned but the centre is still pink.

Melt the remaining 100 g butter in a separate small pot. Spoon the cooked mixture into a deep bowl or jug and pour in the melted butter. Blend until smooth.

Spoon into ramekins set in the fridge if using soon. If keeping for up to a week, melt butter and pour on top, then cover with cling film. DM/TGIFood

Tony Jackman is Galliova Food Champion 2021. His book, foodSTUFF, is available in the DM Shop. Buy it here

Mervyn Gers Ceramics supplies dinnerware for the styling of some TGIFood shoots. For more information, click here.

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks. Share your versions of his recipes with him on Instagram and he’ll see them and respond.

SUBSCRIBE to TGIFood here. Also visit the TGIFood platform, a repository of all of our food writing.


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