Chicken Liver Pâté with Apples and Cognac

Makes 2 quarts


  • 1 lb chicken livers, cleaned and dried
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3 shallots, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 apple, Gala or Fuji, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/4 cup cognac


  1. Season the livers with salt and pepper.
  2. In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil, add the livers, and sear on a high heat until brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the livers from the pan and set aside on a plate. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add 2 tablespoons of the butter, and melt in the pan. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf and cook slowly until the shallots are tender, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the apple and increase the heat to medium. Cook until the apple is tender, about 5 minutes, then return the livers to the pan and increase the heat to high.
  4. Add the cognac and cook until the liquid has evaporated about halfway, about 1 minute. Remove and discard the thyme sprig and bay leaf. Transfer the liver and apple mixture to a blender, add the remaining butter, and blend until velvety smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Pour the pâté into ramekins or a larger soufflé dish to chill. Once chilled, place plastic wrap directly onto the surface so it won’t oxidize. You can spread it on toasts or serve it along with fresh apple slices.

Chef’s Note: You will want to slightly over-salt the pâté because once it is chilled, the salt flavor is muted quite a bit.

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