Duck Liver Pâté

Pate with toasted bread

Tony Briscoe / Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 3 mins
Plus: 26 hrs
Total: 26 hrs 23 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
196 Calories
18g Fat
3g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 196
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 56mg 19%
Sodium 328mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 6g
Calcium 67mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you can't afford expensive goose liver foie gras, try this simple-but-elegant pâté recipe using less-expensive duck livers.


  • 12 ounces duck livers (rinsed and connective tissue removed, cooked)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Soak duck livers in the milk for at least 2 hours at room temperature.

  3. After 2 hours, drain and rinse under cool water.

  4. If you are using frozen, milk-soaked livers, simply allow them to thaw under refrigeration. Then drain and rinse under cool water.

  5. In a small saucepan, bring the duck livers, heavy cream, star anise, and salt to a boil. Reduce to simmer, and cook for 3 minutes. Remove the star anise and discard.

  6. Remove the duck livers from the pan and place them in a food processor bowl fitted with the metal blade. Add about 1/2 cup of the hot cream and process until combined. With the motor running, slowly add the rest of the cream in a steady stream.

  7. Process until smooth, pausing to scrape down sides with a spatula as needed. Add pepper and pulse until combined.

  8. Scrape duck liver pâté into a bowl or several small crocks and cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap touching the top of the pâté and chill for at least 24 hours before serving. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe Variations

  • If you are using frozen, milk-soaked livers, simply allow them to thaw under refrigeration. Then drain and rinse under cool water.
  • This also can be made with chicken livers in place of the duck livers. Or use this Jewish chicken liver pâté recipe (better known as chopped chicken liver).

Ways to Serve Pâté

  • As a spread: Any type of pâté is delicious on toasted bread. You can pre-spread and arrange the toast points on a pretty platter or let your guests serve themselves.

  • With eggs: Tuck it inside an omelet or serve it on the side of eggs made anyway for an unusual and delicious pairing.

  • On sandwiches: Who would have thought pâté would be a natural on a sandwich or burger. But it works.

  • With cheese and fruits: Spruce up a cheese platter with dried fruits, nuts, and cubes of formed pâté.

  • Stuffed into veggies: Creamy and spreadable pâté s can be stuffed into peppers, tomatoes, pickled mushrooms, and celery.

  • As a dip: Carrot and celery sticks are naturals but don't overlook tortilla chips for dipping into pâté.

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