Pâté Prepared with Shallots and Brandy

I think pâté is one of those things people absolutely love – or they take one look and refuse to try it. Don’t be one of those people – you’ll be cheating yourself out of something truly delicious!!  (I loved this pâté so much I ate the whole bowl in two days!!)

Here is how pâté is described by Wikipedia – ” Pâté is a mixture of cooked ground meat and fat minced into a spreadable paste. Common additions include vegetables, herbs, spices, and either wine or brandy (often Cognac or Armagnac). Pâté can be served either hot or cold, but it is considered to develop its fullest flavor after a few days of chilling.”

I used butter and a good amount of brandy, plus shallots and thyme, in this recipe. And don’t let the fact the recipe includes chicken livers throw you off !  This pâté is quick to prepare and you’re going to feel so proud when you tell your guests you made it yourself.

Pâté is actually better when made the day before – and – you can serve pâté either at room temperature or cold, which makes it perfect for entertaining.  If you’re hosting several people, consider purchasing some good quality cheeses, grapes and apples to go along with the pâté. Add crunchy crackers or rusks and – voila – you have a very impressive platter to serve before dinner!

Ingredients and Method

  •  2 Tbs. butter    ++ You’ll need 3 1/2 Tbs. butter total
  • 1/2 lb. (8 oz) chicken livers
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. ground thyme
  • 3 Tbs. brandy
  • 1/2 cup heavy (or whipping) cream
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 14 tsp. pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley  ++ I like to buy fresh parsley, chop it up, put it into a baggie and then place it in the freezer. That way I always have it on hand!

METHOD

Melt 2 Tbs. butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken livers.

Pate Made with Shallots and Brandy - My Yellow Farmhouse

Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until lightly browned but still slightly pink inside.

Pate Made with Shallots and Brandy - My Yellow Farmhouse

Transfer to a blender (or food processor) and reserve the skillet.

Lower the heat a bit. Add the chopped shallot, cooking until shallot is softened.

Sprinkle on 1/4 tsp. ground thyme and stir to combine.

Pate Made with Shallots and Brandy - My Yellow Farmhouse

Remove skillet from heat. Carefully add 3 Tbs. brandy.  Return skillet to heat and cook, stirring, until brandy is almost evaporated. (After this photo was taken, I continued to cook the brandy/ shallot mixture for about 30 more seconds.)

Pate Made with Shallots and Brandy - My Yellow Farmhouse

Add brandy/shallot mixture, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper to blender.  Blend until super smooth.  (The original directions call for pressing the pate through a sieve at this point, which I did, but, if the pate is blended well enough, this step is NOT necessary.) Pour pâté into a small serving dish.

Place 1 1/2 Tbs. butter in a small microwavable bowl (cover the bowl). Warm just until butter is melted. Mix in 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley. Pour melted butter over the pâté in bowl. (If you like, sprinkle a bit more parsley on top.)

Congratulations. You’ve just made a pâté that’ll ‘knock their socks off’.  Refrigerate until set, 1 – 2 hours. (That is… if you can wait that long.)   Enjoy !!

Pate Made with Shallots and Brandy - My Yellow Farmhouse

++ Original recipe courtesy of REALSIMPLE magazine – October 2014

23 thoughts on “Pâté Prepared with Shallots and Brandy

  1. You certainly don’t have to pour ANY butter on the top!! But I would use the cream because that’s what makes the pate so wonderful smooth – just eat a bit at a time !! Thanks for commenting!!

  2. John – I am IN LOVE with this pate. My son made it and liked it very much. (I’m hoping to get him to guest post an Upside-Down Apple Cake he made the same day as the pate.) We’ll probably do it together when we’re all together at the Pocono house. He’ll do ‘the work’. I’ll take the photos. And he can write the post – FUN !!

      • I’d just love to take you up on that offer John – you’re only saved ’cause you live in Chicago…. then again…. ; o ) John – help me out with something please. I’ve begun to get SPAM comments that WordPress isn’t picking up – and it turns out, if I see where they’ve come from, I find a rather ‘unsavory’ site which has spammed me – or – the SPAM which got through is just some badly translated nonsense. Has this happened to you? How have you solved the problem. Thanks my friend !

  3. Years ago, I watched Jacques Pepin prepare pâté and the idea of making some myself has lingered in my head since. Recipes I’ve seen seemed a bit more complicated than the one I saw. Yours, though,is in the same ballpark. It’s been too long to remember exactly what Pepin did but it was not at all complicated. I will definitely try this, Cecile. Now I have to get some people over here so that I can spring it on ’em. 🙂

  4. You’re always so sweet Pamela! Yup – I think you’re gonna like it. ; o ) I made more yesterday…. and finished that in two days…. just like last time! I had never made pate before either. Now – I think it’s gonna be a real staple! I bet this pate would be excellent with some of your delicious ‘off the vine’ tomatoes and some crusty bread. Do you have any tomatoes left?

  5. Frankly speaking I haven’t eaten a pate in a long while and to let a secret out of the bag, I’ve never even made one myself. I’ve eaten them in restaurants with those elaborate buffets, but I can’t remember the last time I was out for an elaborate buffet in a five star hotel. I love the final presentation with all the crackers and apples. The photo looks awesome too. I am not sure where I can get chicken livers but I’ll look around and see. We only see what we want to see-right? I am sure there are chicken livers in my local store but I am never looking out for them so how can I see them? I shall keep you posted!

    • I wasn’t sure I’d find chicken livers either. I asked… and there they were! I had never made pate before either – and I love that this recipe is so quick to make. In fact, I made myself some more yesterday & there’s only a bit left. And, do keep me posted, for sure !!

  6. This is essentially my mother’s recipe for chicken liver pate. (she’s french.) I love the shallots, the brandy, and what the parsley adds to the flavor profile. I think I add a little thyme, if I’m remembering correctly. I prefer it room temp, but you’re right. This stuff is so good it’s hard to keep from devouring it!!!

    • Hi Mimi – so nice to hear from you! I do remember your mother was French. And I was just thinking about you a few minutes ago because I want to try to emulate your devotion to only the freshest and the best. (I need to stop being so lazy…) There is a bit of thyme in this recipe. The original recipe calls for a sprig of thyme but I figured most people (including me) would rather just use ground thyme, although the flavor has to be more intense with fresh thyme. The original recipe also called for unsalted butter but, again, I didn’t think people would want to bother – so I just reduced the salt in the ingredients. I’m so pleased to know this is pretty-much your mother’s recipe!!! (I also prefer it at room temp… when I can wait that long, that is.) ; o )

      • Oh – I added the parsley more for the photographic value. The grey/brown color of pate makes it a bit hard to photograph in such a way that it look delicious. But, as you said, the parsley also added one more level of flavor. (I also ‘upped’ the amount of butter poured over the top ’cause the extra butter adds to that wonderful mouth feel.)

    • Thanks my friend! I’m having a bit of a problem with an infection – and allergies… I’m so happy I finally got to post a new recipe! I can totally understand that you are NOT a fan of Pâté but, perhaps you might make this sometimes for your friends/family who do! XXOO

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