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!


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