Mark Greenaway recipe: Chicken Liver Pâté, Pickled Plums on Toast

Mark Greenaway.  Chicken Liver P�t�, Pickled Plums on Toast. Picture: Paul Johnston
Mark Greenaway. Chicken Liver P�t�, Pickled Plums on Toast. Picture: Paul Johnston
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Chicken liver pâté is one of those dishes that everyone should have a basic recipe for.

The basic recipe can then be built on and customised as you wish. There are so many flavours that can be paired with a really good chicken liver pâté. This week, I am sharing my recipe for my chicken liver pâté with pickled plums on toast. It is the perfect starter for any dinner party.

The pickled plums and gherkins are a welcome and sharp addition to the smooth, rich pâté. When it comes to serving up this dish, you have two options. You can tear the bread into four pieces and plate each one up individually or you can leave the bread in one piece and place it in the middle of the table as a kind of tear and share starter that everyone can tuck into.

I recommend using the best quality bread that you can get your hands on for the base of the dish.

Edinburgh is full of wonderful little bakeries; it is worth finding the one closest to you and checking out what they have to offer.


For the pâté

180g butter

1 small onion, peeled and finely diced

2 stalks thyme

2 cloves garlic, crushed

500g chicken livers, fully trimmed

2 measures brandy, 50ml approximately

500ml cream



Melt the butter in a non-stick pan and add the chopped onion, thyme and garlic.

Cook for 2 minutes.

Add the fully trimmed chicken livers (ask the butcher to trim these for you) and cook for 3 minutes or until they are just pink in the centre.

Remove the livers from the pan and set aside.

Add the brandy and flambé. Please be careful here and don’t set your curtains on fire!

Add the double cream and reduce by a third.

Add back in the chicken livers.

Blend in a high speed blender until silky smooth.

Pass through a fine sieve.

Season with salt to taste

Refrigerate until needed.

For the pickled plums

150g caster sugar

50ml water

100ml cider vinegar

2 plums, finely diced


Boil up the sugar and water and pour over the vinegar

Whilst it is still hot, add the diced plums and allow to cool

To garnish and serve

Some rustic bread torn into 4 pieces or left as one large piece depending on your preference

Baby herbs

4 gherkins, sliced as thinly as you can


Put your pâté into a piping bag

Toast or heat up your bread until golden brown

Pipe the pâté sporadically over the bread

Sprinkle over the plums

Sprinkle over the gherkins

Sprinkle over the baby herbs

Make sure to enjoy whilst still nice and hot