The Perfect Fall Appetizer!


I offered to bring an appetizer the other night to a dinner party and I thought a chicken liver pate sounded delicious and perfect for a fall evening. I found this recipe on Epicurious (original recipe here) and then adapted it after I read through a whole myriad of recipes that used currents and cognac.  A few things I did differently from the Epicurious recipe were: I soaked the chicken livers over night, it is said to take the bitterness out which must have worked because it wasn’t bitter at all. I used the European Style butter, Plugra, to give it a rich and creamy texture and added  Cognac instead of Brandy. I doubled the amount of alcohol, added an anchovy fillet (a lot of the recipes use them and I used it instead of so much salt) and pumpkin pie spice instead of nutmeg and all spice. I think using the pumpkin pie spice and dried currents created those cozy autumn flavors!


It was delicious and everyone loved it… except for the liver haters of course. We ate it all!  I served it with toasted french bread slices that I brushed with olive oil and Vignalta Sea Salt (I use this salt on everything, it’s hard to find so I order it online) and slices of Empire Apples.  Empire Apples taste like a cross between a Gala and a Gravenstein, so sweet and crisp, a perfect fall apple. Look for them in your grocery store now. I purchased mine at Gene’s Quito Market.

P.S. I was given another liver pate recipe from my friend, Laura, but this time I really wanted a recipe that had dried currants and since her recipe is more savory and perfect the way it is, I didn’t want to mess around with changing it.  So, I will make Laura’s next time and I think I’ll go to her house and have her show me (I’m intimidated by the step that you light  the cognac on fire), plus if I do it at her house, I can show you her gorgeous kitchen!!!

Here’s my recipe:

Fall Chicken Liver Pate with Currents



  •  1 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  •  3 large garlic clove, chopped fine
  •  ½ cup Plugra butter, unsalted
  •  1 1/3 pound chicken livers, trimmed and soaked in milk overnight
  •  ½ cup Cognac
  •  1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  •  1/3 cup dried currants or any dried fruit (apricots and dried cherries are delicious too)
  •  2 anchovy fillet
  • 1 teaspoon of Vignalta Salt and a few turns of fresh cracked pepper
  •  Accompaniment: toasted French bread slices or crackers and crisp fall apples



 In a large heavy skillet cook onion and garlic in butter over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Pat dry chicken livers and season with Vignalta Salt. Add livers to onion mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but barely pink inside, about 10 minutes. Add cognac and simmer 2 minutes. Transfer hot mixture to a food processor and add pumpkin pie spice, anchovy fillet, and salt and pepper to taste.  Puree mixture until very smooth and cool mixture.

While pate is cooling,  in a bowl cover currants with boiling water and soak 5 minutes.  Drain currants and pat dry between paper towels.

Transfer pate to bowl and stir in currants.  Pack pate in  a crock, I used two large ramekins.  Cover pate with plastic wrap and chill, at least one day, up to 3 days.  Bring pate to room temperature before serving.  I put chopped chives and an edible Nasturtium flower on top to make it look more pleasing.











3 Responses to “The Perfect Fall Appetizer!”

  1. Cynthia says:

    Sounds yummy Pam!

  2. vicki says:

    looks so good! So trying this~

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