Look! Up on the plate! It’s a bird, it’s a plane – it’s Bacon chicken liver pâté

Chicken liver, dill frond, tomato jam

Chicken liver, dill frond, tomato jam

Is there any food as delicious as chopped chicken liver that is also as unappealing looking?

I have come to the conclusion that chopped liver on a plate – liver pâté for the foodies amongst you – is visually unappealing no matter how it is tarted up.

My mother made this dish regularly and placed it on a plate in a ring with a gelatin glaze. I hated the way it looked, but I loved the way it tasted!! As soon, of course, as I scraped the glaze off, where it sat, quivering on my plate like a rejected golden retriever. A retriever made of gelatin!

Organ meats are one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat. If you can, when you make this dish, try and find organic chicken liver. Awesome nutrient qualities + a liver that has processed fewer toxins means you are Winning!!

So, since chopped chicken liver is basically yukky looking, I took another approach.

This is a chicken liver recipe – with BACON – that is so delicious it transcends its visually unappealing nature.

When I was putting the demo plate together, I toyed with molding the pâté into a recognizable shape (ahem!!), but swiftly realized that was. Not. Funny. Also, old, very old.

This recipe, on the other hand, is new.

I’ve combined some of the features of the best recipes I’ve found and added a few of my own wrinkles to create a bacon-liver pâté ‘ that should have people clamoring for more. Here ’tis. Let me know how you like it!

If you have to take a picture of pâté, using shadows is a good way to go.

Pate, dill frond, cornichon, tomato jam, olives


Chicken Liver and Bacon Pâté 


  • 3/4 cup (180g) (12 oz.) melted duck fat
    Note: If you have real chicken fat (schmalz) you can use that instead. I’ve made it both ways and prefer duck fat for its smooth, silky, unctuous texture and mouth feel.
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 pound (450g) chicken livers, trimmed of any membrane and cut in 3-4 pieces.
    Note: Cutting it up helps it cook more evenly, so you do not have 1 small piece that is totally cooked and a much larger one that is just starting to cook!
  • About 6-8 oz. good quality bacon, cooked until just crisp.
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea-salt or scant teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon good quality soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • A few dashes of nuoc mam (fish sauce) – this is optional and may sound weird, but it works beautifully – just don’t overdo it – a few dashes will be perfect. Let’s say 3 dashes. If you don’t have a dash-dispensing container, use 1/4 tsp.
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper. This sounds like a lot, but it works beautifully and is not overwhelming. If you use pre-ground pepper, reduce to 3/4 teaspoon, the preground stuff is generally a good deal stronger tasting (also, less aromatic).
  • 3 large hard-boiled eggs
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon whiskey, port, or sherry wine – Experiment! I used an amontillado sherry – try some cognac!!
    pinch cayenne powder – really do not use more than a pinch – you don’t want to actually taste heat, you just want to get the sense of it.


1. In a large skillet cook the onions with 1/4 cup of the duck fat on medium heat, stirring frequently, until they are
browned and beginning to caramelize. It will take 10 to 15 minutes. Once browned, scrape them onto a paper towel-
lined plate and let them drain. If you’re patient and willing to watch, you can caramelize the heck out of those onion bits – they’ll just turn into tiny blobs of umami goodness.

2. In a separate pan, cook the bacon! Yay for cooking bacon. In a separate pan, cook 6-8 oz. bacon. I used center cut
but any cut is good as long as you start with excellent bacon. Drain and pat dry on paper towels, then get tough with that bacon and crumble it to bits.

2. Add the chicken liver pieces to the onion pan and season with the salt and pepper. Cook the livers, stirring often, until they are just-cooked through but still pink inside. If there is any crust on the bottom of the pan, deglaze with a couple of teaspoons of water, then remove from the heat.

3. In a food processor, pulse the hard-boiled eggs a few times. Add the bacon, then add the cooked livers with their
pan juices, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, nuoc mam, liquor, cayenne, the fried onions, and the remaining 1/2 cup melted duck fat, then puree until smooth. Taste, and adjust salt and pepper to your liking

4. Scrape the mixture into a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill a few hours, until firm. This dish is far better on the second day, so if you can make it a day ahead and pop in the fridge overnight, do it!!

Before you put it away, please have some on a cracker or a bit of rye bread. Really – do!! You won’t regret it.

Serving: Serve the pâté  with cornichons (sour gherkins), or just sprinkled with sea salt or Maldon salt (or similar finishing salt) on crackers or toast. You can also toast up slices of caraway rye bread and spread a little on them, top with thinly sliced red onions and / or capers and a bit of fresh dill weed. Heaven!!