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Chicken Liver Pâté with Green Peppercorns


The richness of this silky pâté is balanced by tart green peppercorns. It's even better made a day ahead, making it a convenient and a less stressful Thanksgiving Day starter. This recipe goes great with crisped toast points, endive boats, and/or the crackers of your choice.

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  • 1 pound chicken livers, well trimmed
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • small sage leaves to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons chopped brined green peppercorns, plus 1 tablespoon brine from the jar
  • rye crackers, for serving


Servings 12
Preparation time 500mins
Cooking time 515mins
Adapted from


Step 1

In a bowl, refrigerate the livers in the milk overnight.

Drain and rinse the livers; pat dry. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onion and 5 sage leaves and cook over moderate heat until deep golden, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Scrape the mixture into a food processor.

In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Season the livers with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden, 2 minutes. Add the bourbon; cook until almost evaporated and the livers are barely pink inside, 1 minute.

Add the livers to the food processor and add the lemon juice; pulse to finely chop. With the machine on, add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the pâté is very smooth. Stir in the green peppercorns and brine. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the pâté to 2 bowls. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Garnish with sage and serve with rye crackers.

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