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Chicken Liver Pate Pinterest

Luxury chicken liver pate recipe, chicken livers are cooked with Port wine, cognac and orange zest, a gourmet and fine appetizer or starter! We love it spread on a slice of toasted bread and sprinkled with lots of black pepper!

I have made this chicken liver pâté countless times over the years, whether only for us to snack on or as a starter with a nice mixed salad when I have guests and it’s always a hit!

Whereas I’m not a fan of liver I have always liked chicken liver, it’s tasty and has texture. I prefer it homemade my way, cleaned of any nervy parts, I use kitchen shears and trim away the central part where the nerves are.

There is a lot of butter in this terrine, almost an equal part as to the meat, it is meant to bind the terrine but also to preserve its shelf life. If I have guests, I’ll add the whole 10 oz. portion but if I make it only for us, I’ll go for about 8 oz. because I know it will be gone in no time.

In this recipe, the chicken livers are first marinated an hour in Port wine, then they are cooked with shallots, the Port marinade and cognac, the addition of orange zest pairs so well and brings another level of flavor, I like it with lots of black pepper in the terrine and additional black pepper and coarse salt on my crisp toasts for umami flavors and textures, delicious!

To make this recipe:

  • Buy the best quality chicken livers with uniform color, buy about 15 oz. to make sure that you have 13 oz. once the livers are cleaned. Using kitchen shears remove/discard the center part, add them to a bowl and marinate an hour in Port wine
  • Heat some butter and cook the chicken livers with two chopped shallots and the Port wine marinade, don’t overcook
  • Add the cognac and cook to reduce, if you feel like it you can flambéed with the cognac, let cool
  • Add the liver and liquids to the bowl of a food processor, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle the orange zest (outer skin of an orange), process with the butter
  • Add to a suitable sized ramequin, I have this small lidded terrine boat, press down, cover on contact with plastic wrap, I always do so even though my terrine boat has a lid
  • Chill for a few hours before consuming, best overnight so all the flavors can mingle
  • This terrine will keep for 3 to 4 days in your refrigerator


  • If you’re entertaining, you can make this terrine a day ahead
  • Serve it as a starter in individual ramequins or one ramequin for two persons, don’t forget the black pepper and coarse salt grinders, and a few pickles. In the picture, served with my Herbs de Provence Bread for Crostini, a no fail easy to make flavorful bread!
  • Take out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving

I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you do, please leave me a comment and let me know how it went!

  • 6 servings
  • Easy
  • 1 h 30

Recipe :


13 oz. (400 g.) chicken liver, total weight after cleanup

5 tbsp. Port Wine

3 shallots, chopped

4 tbsp. Cognac

Zest of 1/2 orange (outer part of an orange without white parts)

Salt and pepper to taste

10 oz. (300 g.) Butter, cut in chunks


Into a bowl, add the chicken livers, salt and pepper to taste, Port wine, toss to coat, marinate for an hour stirring from time to time

Into a skillet or sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter, add the chopped shallots, chicken livers and marinade, salt and pepper, I like it with a good sprinkle of pepper on each piece, cook for about 6 minutes

Flambéed with the cognac, or simply add the cognac and cook to reduce to half, remove from the heat and let cool

Add the chicken livers and liquids into the bowl of a food processor, add the orange zest and butter, process until smooth, taste and adjust seasoning if needed

Add to a suitable sized terrine dish or bowl, or to individual ramequins, cover with plastic wrap on contact and chill for a few hours, best overnight

Take out of the fridge 30 minutes before serving

Serve on crusty bread as an appetizer with coarse salt, additional pepper and pickles

Or serve as a starter in individual ramequins with toasts and a mixed salad

Best wine pairing for me, the same Port wine used for the marinade, a chilled French red Beaujolais, a chilled Rosé wine, a chilled light Italian red wine like Valpolicella