Chicken Liver & Bacon Spread

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After my brother Steve got mono as a kid (how does that happen to a five-year-old?) my Mom launched an iron-rich dinner campaign that included huge pots of lentils, schooners of spinach and liver and onions. Every. Single. Week.  I can still see the big black cast-iron skillet, layered with enormous lobes of calves liver, cooked to boot-bottom toughness.  But mercifully, there were occasions when she made chicken livers instead of the beef–more forgiving to that fry pan than those lobes of beef–plus, she always cooked chix livers with bacon (!) Putting the best of those flavors together with a little port, I like to make this easy potted spread. It’s a nice snack with crusty bread or crackers, some onion slivers, and a little chopped egg and capers or parsley.

Makes 2 cups

Liver Pate Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 pounds fresh chicken livers (you should have about 1 1/4 lbs when you are finished cleaning them)
  • 1/2 lb no-nitrate bacon
  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp port
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • crackers or crispbread
  • chopped egg and onion garnish


  1. Remove all connective tissue and any fat or veins from chicken livers and discard.
  2. On a baking sheet, spread bacon and oven-bake at 350 degrees until soft-cooked–don’t cook until crispy!
  3. In a saute pan, heat vegetable oil and cook finely minced onion until very soft and translucent
  4. Add cleaned chicken livers to pan and cook over low heat until livers have just about lost all pinkness. Add port and continue simmering another two minutes or so until livers are just cooked through and most of the liquid has evaporated.
  5. Using a food processor, process bacon. Add liver and onions and pulse until very smooth.
  6. Spread paste in two crocks, cover with plastic wrap you have sprayed with a little oil, and refrigerate until firm.
  7. Serve pate with your favorite crackers or crisp bread and a little onion, chopped egg and even tiny capers, if you like.


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