All it takes is a good recipe to change your view of an ingredient, and today I bring you the most palatable liver pâté recipe I’ve tried. This recipe comes from a fellow NTP, Daniele Della Valle, who served as an assistant teacher for my class while I was in nutrition school. On an early morning of our weekend intensives, she brought in a big batch of pâté for us to snack on, and we all went bonkers for it – people who swore they didn’t like liver went back for seconds, then thirds.
What’s the secret?
It’s the alliums! The generous quantities of shallots, garlic, and onions make for a super-savory pâté that tastes like the base of a chicken soup: deep, rich, umami flavor that satisfies the palate. I make this pâté whenever I’m feeling low-energy, and I find it to be deeply nourishing, stress-reducing, and revitalizing to my body.
I like to serve this chicken liver pâté with toasted, grain-free bread or homemade paleo crackers. Sometimes I roll it up in nori sheets with thinly sliced cucumber and eat it like sushi. Today I’m serving the pâté as a veggie dip, as it pairs well with any raw, dippable vegetable. Swipe a radish slice with salted butter, then again with chicken liver pâté, and be prepared to swoon.
ps. Daniele wrote a book called, Happy Weight: Unlocking Body Confidence Through Bioindividual Nutrition and Mindfulness, and it’s all about self-love, positive body image, and real food nutrition. If you’re looking for a good read to support you on your health journey, this book is for you.
Paleo Chicken Liver Pâté
- 1/2 pound chicken liver , raw, organic, and pasture-raised
- 1/2 of a large sweet yellow onion , peeled and chopped
- 6 large shallot cloves , peeled and chopped
- 6 large garlic cloves , peeled and chopped
- 1 cup rendered duck fat
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
Place chicken livers in a bowl and cover with filtered water. Using a spoon, or your hands, gently stir the livers under water to rinse them. Drain in a strainer placed in the sink.
Place a large skillet on the stove over medium heat. Add in the duck fat and heat until melted. Once melted, add in the onion, shallot, and garlic. Stirring gently, sweat the alliums until they're just translucent, about 5-8 minutes.
After that, turn the burner to medium-low and add the liver, coconut aminos and salt. Cook gently, stirring periodically and flipping the livers with a spatula so both sides brown evenly, another 5-8 minutes. Once livers are browned**, take the pan off the heat.
Cool the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer the mixture into a blender or food processor. Add in the apple cider vinegar. Blend until the pâté is smooth like mousse. Transfer the pâté into a glass container and let it sit in the fridge overnight, allowing the flavors to develop.
** Livers are done when they have firmed up a bit (you can check by pressing on one or two with your finger or the back of a small spoon), with their outsides clearly browned, and their myoglobin trickling out. If you're unsure, try temping them; the livers are done when their internal temperature reaches 165° F. When cooking meat, I often use a thermometer to double-check my work. I highly recommend this method if you're new to cooking meat, if your immune or digestive system is compromised, or if you're cooking for someone who has a compromised immune or digestive system. Here's the thermometer I use.
Sourcing — Make sure to find a good source for your livers and duck fat. If I’m not buying mine directly from the local farmer’s market, I’m getting them from a co-op like PCC or a natural grocery store like Whole Foods. You can usually find organ meats and cooking fat in the freezer section.
- On-Demand Individual Pâté Portions for “Supplementing” — I recommend freezing the pâté in a food-grade silicone mold, like this one. Once the pâté is frozen, you can pop out the portions and keep them in an airtight container in the freezer. When you're having a hankering, pop out a portion, let thaw in the fridge (or place it in an airtight container or bag and submerge it in a bowl under a faucet trickling with cold water.) The pâté will stay fresh for 3 months in the freezer.