French Food Friday...Chicken liver & pineau pâté

photo and recipe from here

Bonjour mes belles,

We have had a couple of dinner parties this week and this is a recipe that always goes down well with our guests.
A rich, sweet pâté recipe using pineau - a sherry-like aperitif  that is made in nearby départements of Charente and the Charente-Maritime.
It is popular within the region of production, it is less well known in other regions of France and somewhat uncommon abroad.
It is a fortified wine  made from a blend of lightly fermented grape must and Cognac eau-de-vie. If you use sherry, you will end up with the same result.

Chicken liver & pineau pâté

Serves 6-8 as a starter
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins + chilling time


  • 500g chicken livers
  • 100g butter
  • 100g unsmoked lardons or chopped streaky bacon
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried
  • 5 tbsp pineau or sherry
  • herb sprigs to garnish, rosemary, thyme or bay
  • toasted brioche or raisin bread and cornichons, to serve

    1. Rinse the chicken livers and cut away any dark patches and small stringy threads. Pat dry with kitchen paper. Heat 25g of the butter in a frying pan until foaming, then add the lardons or bacon and fry until crisp. Add the garlic, chicken livers and thyme and fry briskly for about 5 mins, until they are evenly browned. They should be nicely browned on the outside, but pink inside and should feel squashy when pressed.
    2. Add the pineau, salt and pepper, then bubble for a few mins. Remove from the heat. Blitz the mixture in a food processor until smooth, then spoon into a jar or dish. Smooth the top.
    3. Melt the remaining butter, put a herb sprig or bay leaf on top of the pâté and pour over the butter, leaving the sediment behind. Leave to cool, then chill until set.4 Serve spooned from the dish with toasted brioche, a bowl of cornichons and a little sea salt.
    très bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x


    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. This sounds perfect. We want to invite an old friend for an "apéro" in the near future. He loves France, good food and good wine. I know he will be very pleased if I serve this paté.
      Thanks a lot for this recipe!
      Bon weekend, bises, Monika

    3. I have a cocktail party tonight and this recipe sounds just perfect!! Have a great weekend Leeann!

      The Arts by Karena

    4. Chicken liver pâté is a favourite of mine and I'm very familiar with Pineau as I lived in Charente- Maritime several years ago and I always bring a bottle or two back whenever I visit. Must try this recipe!


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