Taste test: the best chicken liver pâté for Christmas 2017

Taste test: the best chicken liver pâté for Christmas 2017

by Great British Chefs 6 December 2017

A good chicken liver pâté should be irresistibly rich with a generous dash of booze for good measure. Take a look at our top three picks from the supermarkets for this year and make sure your Christmas spread features the very best.

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Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

If you think about it, pâté is a bit of an odd one. Lots of animal organs mashed up with fat and seasonings to create a spreadable paste doesn’t sound like the most appealing thing in the world, but the fact that it tastes so delicious quickly cancels out any negative feelings we might have towards it. At Christmas, chicken liver pâté reigns supreme, served either as a starter on the day itself or making an appearance at the thousands of festive parties hosted in December. With little toasts, plenty of cornichons and maybe some chutney, it’s one of the great foods of the festive period.

Making your own pâté is incredibly rewarding (and if you fancy giving it a go check out our recipe here), but as there’s so much to make and prepare over Christmas, most of us rely on the supermarkets instead. We tasted our way through ten of this year’s offerings to find the best. While some tasted of cat food and metal (when pâté goes wrong it can go really, really wrong), others were surprisingly good and could easily be passed off as homemade. Here are our top three.

Runner-up: Waitrose Chicken Liver Pâté, £2.60 for 160g


Sure, it might not be packaged in a fancy clip-top jar or come adorned with herbs, nuts or fruit, but Waitrose’s bog-standard offering has everything you could want from a classic pâté. Smooth, uniform and rich, it’s spruced up with a dash of port and Cognac, which comes through (subtly) in the aftertaste. There’s a definite liver flavour (with that pleasingly metallic tang), but it’s one of the mildest we tasted, making it perfect for those who usually avoid offal like the plague.

Runner-up: Aldi Specially Selected Chicken Liver Parfait with Thyme and Basil, £2.99 for 200g


Aldi always seems to go all-out for Christmas, and their upmarket pâté (complete with reusable jar and herby crust) certainly impressed. Rather than being puréed into a smooth paste, it’s left with a rougher, more rustic texture, which is still spreadable but with more bite to it. The herbs on top contrast nicely with the rich liver below, and make it a little more presentable than the plain all-pâté packs.

Winner: Findlater’s Fine Foods Chicken Liver Pâté with Brandy and Port, £2.99 for 120g from Ocado and Waitrose


At first Findlater’s looks a little foreboding, with its oxidised grey top and plastic pot, but the first taste of this handmade Scottish award-winning pâté will erase all doubts. It’s been blended to a butter-like consistency, with a strong hum of chicken livers given a boost thanks to the welcome glugs of brandy and port, which add a wonderful sweet finish. It might be a little more expensive than the others, but the taste was far and away the best we tried all day.