Chicken Liver Pâté with Red Onion and Pomegranate Molasses Relish

, from Issue #30. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Chicken Liver Pâté with Red Onion and Pomegranate Molasses Relish

This is a great do-ahead dish. The onion relish can be made 3 or 4 days ahead and kept in the fridge to improve in flavour. The pâté can also be made up to 3 days ahead and stored well covered in the fridge.


250 grams fresh chicken livers
60 grams butter, divided in half
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small apple, peeled, cored and sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ cup brandy
¼ cup cream
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large red onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses


Pâté: Clean the chicken livers well and trim out any sinew.

Heat half the butter in a sauté pan and add the onion, apple, garlic and thyme with a good pinch of salt. Cover and cook until very tender and both can be easily crushed with a fork. Scrape the contents of the pan into a food processor.

Reheat the sauté pan with the remaining butter. Add the chicken livers and allspice and season generously. Cook gently until the livers are just pink in the centre. Don’t let them brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the livers to the food processor.

Increase the heat, add the brandy and bubble up for 1 minute. Scrape the contents of the pan into the food processor. Season and with the food processor going, drizzle in the cream. Process for 3-4 minutes until very smooth, scraping down the sides occasionally.

Spoon the pâté into serving dishes and cover the top with plastic wrap, pushing it down onto the surface to seal out the air. Refrigerate.

Relish: Put the olive oil, onions, garlic and mustard seeds in a saucepan. Season, cover and cook for 10 minutes until the onion is tender. Uncover and stir in the sugar and pomegranate molasses. Cook over a gentle heat for 30 minutes until thick and syrupy and the onions are glossy. Tip into a fine sieve to remove excess oil.

To serve: Top the pâté with onion relish or serve on the side. Serve with small toasts or crostini. Makes about 1 cup.

Refrigerate the paté for up to 3 days and the onion for 4 days.

Substitute balsamic vinegar if pomegranate molasses is unavailable.

Pomegranate molasses: a thick syrup produced by cooking down pomegranate juice. It is a slightly astringent, sweet-sour condiment used widely throughout the Eastern Mediterranean. Available from specialty food stores.

Menu: Serve with the following:
Braised Scotch Fillet with Marsala and Red Wine Sauce and Roasted Root Vegetable Mash
Hazelnut, Chocolate and Date Baklava