Rinse the chicken livers in a sieve, drain, then remove and cut out any sinewy bits. Melt 25g (1oz) of the butter in a frying pan, tip in the livers and stir-fry over a medium heat for 7-8 minutes. Cut in half to check that they are cooked through. Transfer to a food processor with any juices.
Melt 25g (1oz) of the remaining butter in the frying pan. Stir in the shallots, garlic, rosemary and thyme sprigs. Fry for 3-4 minutes to soften, then pour in the brandy and white wine. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until reduced by about two-thirds. Rest a sieve over a bowl, then tip the contents of the pan into the sieve and press down well to collect all the juices (you should have about 3 tbsp thickish juices).
Pour the juices over the chicken livers in the food processor, and season with salt and pepper. Melt another 50g (2oz) butter in the frying pan and pour this into the processor, along with the double cream. Blend it all together, until the mixture is velvety smooth.
Spoon the mixture into 4 small ramekins (about 100ml/31/2fl oz) or similar dishes. Smooth the tops over so they are perfectly flat.
Gently melt the last 50g (2oz) of butter in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and let the white milk solids settle on the bottom of the pan. Spoon off the clarified (clear) butter and pour it over the top of each ramekin of pâté to cover and seal.
Lightly press a rosemary sprig and a scattering of thyme leaves into the butter. Cool, then cover and chill overnight. Serve with melba toast, toasted nut bread or crisp crackers, and with a little salad on the side if wished.
See more Christmas recipes
Freezing and defrosting instructions
Can be freezed and kept in the freezer for up to three months. Always defrost and heat thoroughly before eating.
Pair this with finest* Chianti Riserva
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