Arlington chicken liver pâté, from Ireland, is a gorgeous version of a rustic, country-style delicacy. It’s full of chicken liver and bacon, parsley and cilantro, and butter. Serve with a sweet-spicy chutney and get ready to swoon.

In Ireland, as in so many places, people originally ate offal because they had to, as they couldn’t afford to waste precious meat, no matter what the organ’s original function. In more recent times, the Irish, or some of them at any rate, have taken to eating offal simply because they like it. This country-style chicken liver pâté recipe is one of the most popular appetizers and bar snacks at Maurice Keller’s Arlington Lodge in Waterford. He says to serve “with a crisp salad, melba toast, and any sweet chutney or relish.”–Colman Andrews

LC Not So Offal Note

This country-style pâté redefines refined. It’s larded with slab bacon, freckled with hints of fresh parsley and cilantro, and left pleasingly, old-fashionedly chunky. It’s a traditional take on pâté that leaves little to the imagination—save for how lovely something so simple can be. Offal’s never been so not awful.

Chicken liver pate on a wooden tray with slices on toast beside a bowl of chutney.

Arlington Chicken Liver Pâté

5 / 3 votes
Arlington chicken liver pâté is a beautifully lush snack when you want something both elegant and rustic. Chicken, bacon, parsley, onion, garlic, and butter–and little else.
Servings12 to 16 servings
Calories360 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes


  • 1 pound slab bacon diced
  • 1 large onion coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 pounds large chicken livers membranes removed
  • 12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) butter
  • Salt and coarsely cracked black pepper
  • Leaves from 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley minced, plus 15 to 20 whole leaves for garnish
  • Leaves from 1/2 bunch cilantro minced (optional)


  • Fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until lightly browned. Add the onion and garlic, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the chicken livers to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re cooked through but still slightly pink inside, 8 to 10 minutes. As the livers cook, add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and season the livers with salt and plenty of pepper. Stir in the parsley and, if using, the cilantro. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse 3 to 4 times, just until a coarse paste is achieved.
  • Line a 1 1/2-quart terrine or glass loaf pan with plastic wrap and scrape the chicken liver mixture into the pan. Cover the terrine with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the butter solidifies, at least several hours and preferably overnight. (You can refrigerate the terrine for up to 5 days.)
  • Turn the terrine out onto a serving plate, distribute the parsley leaves evenly over the top, and serve immediately with a knife for slicing.


How To Freeze Pâté

According to Grace, one of our readers, the pâté can be frozen. Simply cut thick slices, place the slices in individual zip-top bags, press out the air, and seal. The pâté should last up to three months in the freezer.
The Country Cooking of Ireland

Adapted From

The Country Cooking of Ireland

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Serving: 1 servingCalories: 360 kcalCarbohydrates: 3 gProtein: 18 gFat: 31 gSaturated Fat: 14 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4 gMonounsaturated Fat: 11 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 318 mgSodium: 306 mgPotassium: 275 mgFiber: 0.2 gSugar: 1 gVitamin A: 8759 IUVitamin C: 15 mgCalcium: 16 mgIron: 7 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2009 Colman Andrews. Photo © 2009 Christopher Hirsheimer. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I love pâté, so this was a must-try. The main change I made, from previous experience, is save a tad of bacon fat to grease the terrine, to make it easier to turn out. Adding the cilantro really did make a difference in taste. I made two batches—the first one I tried to remove the next day and it wasn’t quite ready, but the second one I removed three days later was perfect. TIPS: Make sure there aren’t any air pockets when pouring the paste into the terrine. Make sure it’s well compacted, so that the terrine doesn’t fall apart when when removing.

Originally published December 29, 2010

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Oh My gosh, this is absolutely wonderful. We have enjoyed many European vacations and I have always enjoyed homemade charcuterie. I’m also a duck hunter. I followed the recipe 100%, except I substituted 1/2 of the chicken liver quantity with wild duck breasts and it is amazing. I also used a spring-loaded ham press instead of a dish which allows for more compression. My wife is not a huge fan of organ meat but when I brought this to our monthly Texas hold’em poker game, all the guys loved it and so did I. My mother also really liked it and she also likes liver.

    Kind regards,
    Troy Duncan, USA

    1. try, now that’s the kind of review I love to hear. Please give my best to the boys! (And your mom!)

  2. 5 stars
    I make this recipe every year during the holidays. It is wonderful! I have also found that I it freezes well. I just slice some thickly and freeze it in a ziplock with all the air sucked out.
    Thank you!

    1. Grace, that’s wonderful. And thanks for the freezing tip. I shall add it above, with a credit to you, natch. Happy holidays!

  3. MMMMM! Love pate. Love chicken livers. Never had them chunky, but this looks amazing! And I just happen to have some on hand, too. 😉 MMMMM, on my breakfast toast. Thank you for pointing out this recipe. I have that book but haven’t spent much time with it. Look what I’ve been missing.

    1. 5 stars
      Lovely! I’m a pate fanatic, but have only made my own a few times. I wanted a hearty, textured pate, and found this recipe. I lovvvvve the flavor! And rather simple to make. I did both the cilantro and parsley, can’t imagine omitting either, really brightens up the flavors. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us!

  4. Wow, this looks really nice. Is the above photo from the book or one of your own? If it’s yours, what sort of chutney did you serve it with? I’ve never paired pate with anything except bread or crackers and green peppercorns (which are awesome with pate), so I’d be interested in trying something new.

    1. Hey Chris, it does look nice, doesn’t it? That’s actually a photo from Colman Andrews’ book, the one that accompanies this very recipe. Andrews doesn’t note anywhere which chutney recipe it is, although in the headnote above he does share the advice that any chutney would work well with the richness of the pate, so it seems you can let your personal preference determine the recipe. If you’re partial to pear chutneys, may I suggest this one?