Delia Smith Chicken Liver Pâté Recipe is a classic and elegant dish, renowned for its rich, smooth texture and deep, savory flavors. This recipe, a testament to Delia Smith’s expertise in creating simple yet exquisite dishes, transforms basic ingredients into a luxurious spread. Ideal for a sophisticated appetizer, a light lunch, or as part of a charcuterie board, this pâté is sure to delight any palate.
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What is Delia Smith Chicken Liver Pâté?
Delia Smith Chicken Liver Pâté is a smooth and creamy spread made from chicken livers, butter, onion, garlic, thyme, and brandy. It’s a traditional British dish that can be served as an appetizer, a snack, or a sandwich filling. It’s named after Delia Smith, a famous and respected British chef who has published many cookbooks and TV shows.
This recipe can be prepared relatively quickly, typically in under an hour, making it a great choice for those seeking to impress guests without spending excessive time in the kitchen.
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Why You Love this Recipe
- Effortless Preparation: This recipe requires minimal ingredients and simple blender use, making it an approachable dish for any home cook.
- Rich Taste: The combination of brandy and thyme infuses the pâté with a deep, aromatic flavor, elevating the creamy texture of the chicken livers.
- Diverse Pairing Options: Its versatility shines as it pairs beautifully with a range of accompaniments, from bread and crackers to fresh veggies.
- Suitable for Any Occasion: Whether it’s a sophisticated party appetizer or a casual picnic snack, this pâté fits perfectly into any culinary setting.
Ingredients Needed to Make Delia Smith Chicken Liver Pâté
To make Delia Smith’s chicken liver pâté, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 225 g (8 oz) chicken livers
- 50 g (2 oz) butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- Salt and black pepper
- A little melted butter to seal the pâté
You’ll also need the following equipment:
- A sharp knife and a chopping board
- A frying pan
- A blender or a food processor
- A small loaf tin or a ramekin
- A small saucepan
- A pastry brush
- Some cling film or foil
Instructions to Make Delia Smith Chicken Liver Pâté
Now that you have everything ready, here’s how to make the pâté:
Step 1: Prepare the chicken livers
- Trim any sinews or membranes from the chicken livers and cut them into small pieces.
- This will ensure that the pâté is smooth and not gritty or chewy.
Step 2: Cook the onion and garlic
- Melt 25 g (1 oz) of butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat and fry the onion and garlic for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden.
- This will add flavor and sweetness to the pâté.
Step 3: Cook the chicken livers and thyme
- Add the chicken livers and thyme and cook for another 10 minutes, turning the livers over once, until they are browned on the outside but still pink in the middle.
- Don’t overcook them or they will become tough and dry.
- This will give the pâté a rich and meaty taste and aroma.
Step 4: Blend the mixture
- Transfer the mixture to a blender or a food processor and add the brandy, salt, and pepper.
- Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- This will create the smooth and creamy texture of the pâté and add some extra flavor and spice.
Step 5: Spoon the pâté into a tin or a ramekin
- Spoon the pâté into a small loaf tin or a ramekin and smooth the surface with a spatula.
- Tap the tin or ramekin on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
- This will help the pâté to set evenly and avoid any cracks or holes.
Step 6: Pour the melted butter over the pâté
- Melt the remaining 25 g (1 oz) of butter in a small saucepan over low heat and skim off any foam that rises to the top.
- Carefully pour the melted butter over the pâté, making sure to cover it completely.
- Use a pastry brush to spread the butter evenly and fill any gaps.
- This will seal the pâté and prevent it from drying out and oxidizing.
Step 7: Refrigerate the pâté
- Cover the tin or ramekin with cling film or foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, until the pâté is firm and the butter is set.
- This will allow the flavors to develop and the texture to firm up.
Step 8: Serve the pâté
- To serve, remove the cling film or foil and run a knife around the edge of the pâté.
- Invert the tin or ramekin onto a plate and gently shake it to release the pâté.
- Cut into slices or spoon onto crackers or bread.
What Do I Serve With Delia Smith Chicken Liver Pâté?
Pair Delia Smith’s Chicken Liver Pâté with:
- Bread Varieties: Toasted slices of bread, baguette, or crostini make excellent bases for this pâté.
- Crunchy Options: Choose from an array of crackers, oatcakes, or melba toast for a delightful texture contrast.
- Savory Accents: Complement the pâté with cornichons, pickles, or olives for a tangy touch.
- Sweet Balances: Offer chutney, jam, or jelly to add a sweet counterpoint to the rich pâté.
- Condiments: Mustard, horseradish, or mayonnaise can be served alongside to enhance the flavors.
- Fresh Elements: Include salad greens, lettuce, or cucumber for a fresh, crisp addition.
- Rich Additions: Cheese, nuts, or dried fruits can also accompany the pâté, adding depth and variety to the overall flavor profile.
Pro Tips to Make Delia Smith Chicken Liver Pâté
For a superior chicken liver pâté, following these detailed tips will elevate your culinary results:
- Preparation of Chicken Livers: Start by meticulously removing any sinews or membranes from the chicken livers. This step is crucial for avoiding a gritty or chewy consistency and ensures a smooth, refined texture.
- Cooking Chicken Livers: The key to perfect livers lies in their cooking; they should be browned on the outside but still pink inside. This method avoids overcooking, which can lead to a tough and dry texture, ensuring tenderness and moisture.
- Choice of Alcohol: Using a good quality brandy significantly enhances the pâté’s flavor profile. However, you have options here: sherry, port, or Madeira can serve as substitutes, or you can omit alcohol for a non-alcoholic version, each lending a unique flavor to the dish.
- Seasoning: Generous seasoning with salt and pepper is essential, as chilling tends to mute flavors slightly. For an extra kick, consider adding spices like nutmeg, allspice, or cayenne pepper.
- Butter Sealing: To prevent the pâté from drying out and oxidizing, cover it completely with melted butter. Infusing the butter with bay leaves, peppercorns, or juniper berries adds additional aromatic layers.
- Chilling Time: Adequate chilling time, at least 4 hours or overnight, is crucial. This allows the flavors to meld together and the texture to set properly, resulting in a more cohesive and flavorsome pâté.
Variations of Delia Smith Chicken Liver Pâté
Enhance and personalize your chicken liver pâté by exploring these variations:
- Herbs: Replace thyme with sage, rosemary, or parsley for different herbal undertones, each bringing a unique character to the pâté.
- Aromatics: Experiment with garlic, onion, or shallots in varying combinations to tweak the base flavor profile of your pâté.
- Alcohol Choices: If brandy isn’t your preference, cognac, armagnac, or calvados are excellent alternatives, each contributing its own distinctive taste.
- Creamy Elements: For a variation in texture, swap out butter with cream cheese, sour cream, or yogurt.
- Meaty Additions: Adding bacon, ham, or pancetta can introduce an extra depth of flavor and a smoky element.
- Vegetarian Options: For a vegetarian twist, mushrooms, chestnuts, or walnuts can be used as alternatives to chicken livers.
How do I store Delia Smith Chicken Liver Pâté Leftovers?
- Wrap the pâté well with cling film or foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Freeze the pâté in an airtight container or a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Label it with the date and the name of the recipe.
- Thaw the pâté in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
How do I reheat Delia Smith Chicken Liver Pâté Leftovers?
- You don’t need to reheat Delia Smith Chicken Liver Pâté, as it’s best served at room temperature or slightly chilled.
- If you want to warm it up slightly, you can microwave it for a few seconds or place it in a warm oven for a few minutes. Be careful not to overheat it, as it will melt and lose its texture.
Nutrition value per serving (based on 6 servings):
- Calories: 328 kcal
- Fat: 30 g
- Carbohydrates: 3 g
- Protein: 12 g
- Cholesterol: 248 mg
- Sodium: 245 mg
- Potassium: 184 mg
- Iron: 9 mg
- Vitamin A: 7640 IU
- Vitamin C: 9 mg
- Calcium: 24 mg
- Folate: 217 mcg
How far in advance can you make chicken liver pâté?
You can make chicken liver pâté ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Make sure to wrap it well and label it with the date.
How do you prevent the pâté from cracking or drying out?
To prevent the pâté from cracking or drying out, you need to pour enough melted butter over the pâté to seal it completely. This will create a protective layer that will keep the pâté moist and fresh. You can also add some bay leaves, peppercorns, or juniper berries to the butter for some extra aroma.
I hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to make Delia Smith’s chicken liver pâté recipe. It’s a delicious and easy way to impress your guests or treat yourself to a gourmet snack. If you try this recipe, let me know how it turned out in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you! Bon appétit!
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Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes Chilling time: 4 hours or overnight