Ranch House Pâté with Cognac

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Cream cheese is the secret ingredient in this recipe-it smooths out the pate beautifully.


6 tbsp. butter

2 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped

Black truffle (optional), shaved

3 ⁄ 4 lb. chicken livers

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. dry mustard

1 ⁄ 4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

Pinch ground cloves

4 oz. cream cheese

2 tbsp. cognac


Melt 2 tbsp. of the butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add scallions and cook until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, if using truffle, finely chop all but 4 shavings (reserve these for garnish) and set aside.

Add chicken livers and cook, covered, over medium heat until just cooked through, 5-7 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and stir in salt, mustard, nutmeg, and cloves. Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, about 2 minutes. Continue to process, blending in remaining 4 tbsp. butter, cream cheese, and cognac. Mix in chopped truffle (if using), then transfer to small bowls or well-oiled molds, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 24 hours.

Serve a generous portion of pate on a bed of greens with bread, olives, and caper berries, if desired, and garnish with reserved truffle shavings.