This recipe can be prepared ahead and will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge. I love the contrast between the fig jam and the pâté and tend to serve it in the restaurant with some crusty bread and a salad.


  • 400 g fresh chicken livers
  • 300 ml milk
  • 100 g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tblsp port
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tblsp cream
  • for the fig jam:
  • 3 tblsp olive oil
  • 3 red onions (diced)
  • 225 g ready-to-eat dried figs (finely chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • 150 ml red wine
  • 2 tblsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • port and balsamic syrup, to garnish (optional)
  • crusty bread and lightly dressed salad leaves, to serve
  • maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • for the port and balsamic syrup:
  • 100 ml ruby red port
  • 100 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 100 ml madeira
  • 100 g caster sugar


  • To make the fig jam, heat the olive oil in a large pan and tip in the onions, then cook for 10 minutes until softened but not coloured, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in figs and garlic until well combined and then pour in the red wine and balsamic vinegar. Cook for about 10 minutes until thickened slightly and the alcohol has cooked off. Stir in the sugar and thyme, then season to taste.
  • Blend in a processor for 1-2 minutes until smooth and leave to cool completely. Store in an airtight container or sterilised jar in the fridge and use as required. This will keep happily for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
  • To make the pâté, soak livers in milk in a non-metallic bowl overnight. This will remove any traces of blood. The next day, drain off the milk and pat dry with kitchen paper.
  • Melt 25g (1oz) of the butter in a sauté pan and gently sweat the shallots, garlic and thyme for 4-5 minutes until softened but not coloured. Pour over the port and cook for another 1 minute until evaporated. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Place the chicken livers in a food processor and blend for about 2-3 minutes until very smooth. Add the shallot mixture with the eggs, the remaining 75g (3oz) of butter and the cream and plenty of seasoning. Blend again for about 30 seconds until well combined.
  • Pass the chicken liver mixture through a fine sieve into a large jug and then pour into a 1.2 litres (2 pint) loaf tin that has been lined with clingfilm - the mixture should come two thirds of way up sides but it does rise up to the top during cooking.
  • Cover with tin foil and place in a bain-marie (roasting tin half filled with boiling water) and cook for 1 hour until set but still with a slight wobble in the middle. Remove from bain-marie and take off the foil, then leave to cool completely and then place in the fridge until needed.
  • When ready to serve, invert the chicken liver pâté on to a flat plate or board and carefully peel away the clingfilm. Heat a large knife and cut pâté into slices.
  • Arrange two slices on each plate and spoon some fig jam to the side of each one. Drizzle around a little of the port and balsamic syrup, if liked,to garnish.
  • Serve with toasted crusty bread and some lightly dressed salad leaves.
  • For the Port and Balsamic Syrup (optional):
  • Place the port in a heavy-based pan with the balsamic vinegar, Madeira and caster sugar. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until reduced by a third and when the mixture has become thick and syrupy like runny honey.
  • Serve at once or allow to cool down completely and store in a bowl covered with clingfilm in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat gently in a pan when needed.


The syrup makes about 120ml, this will keep in your refrigerator for 2-3 months.

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