Members' Recipes Archive

January 1999
Chicken liver pâté with pistachio garnish
Evelyn Rose

Chicken liver pâté with pistachio garnish

By: Evelyn Rose

This is my interpretation of a very old Jewish dish -- Gehakte Leber (chopped liver) -- which is said to have originated with the Jewish poultry dealers of Strasbourg and to be the inspiration for pâté de foie gras. This pâté is smooth on the tongue with a delicate flavour, and hard-boiled eggs are used in place of some of the high fat content in normal pâté. It can be served like regular pâté or for a more elegant presentation, formed into a roll and coated with pistachios.

This recipe is from The New Complete International Jewish Cookbook (Robson Books)


For the liver pâté:
4 eggs
1 large onion, finely chopped
75 g (3 oz) butter, margarine or 5 level tablespoons rendered chicken fat
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
20 grinds black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
450 g (1 lb) chicken livers, grilled or sautéed (see below)
3 tablespoons brandy

For the garnish:
50 g (2 oz) natural shelled pistachios, finely chopped
15 g (½ oz) fresh tarragon, finely chopped


Boil the eggs for 10 minutes then drench with cold water and leave. Sauté the onion in the fat until beginning to caramelise, then add the garlic and continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes until an aroma arises.

Sprinkle with the seasonings then add the halved sautéed or grilled livers (cooked through but not crisp), and toss gently to absorb the flavours in the pan. (If preferred, the raw livers can be halved and sautéed at this stage in the same pan, until just cooked through).

Pour the brandy into the pan and allow to bubble until it has almost evaporated.

Turn the contents of the pan into the food processor together with the shelled and halved hard-boiled eggs and process until absolutely smooth, cleaning down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Turn into a bowl, cover and leave refrigerated for several hours for the flavours to develop. An hour before using, leave at room temperature.

If wished, shape the pâté mixture by laying it on clingfilm and moulding it into a cylinder about 5 cm (2 inches) in diameter and 30 cm (12 inches) long. Wrap in the clingfilm and chill again until firm.

To coat the pâté, sprinkle the nuts and tarragon evenly on a piece of foil. Carefully unwrap the pâté and roll it evenly in the nut/tarragon mixture. It can now be covered with the foil and chilled again, or cut at once into 2 cm (¾ inch) thick diagonal slices.

© recipe copyright 1999 Evelyn Rose


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