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Chicken Liver Pâté with Katenspek


Chicken Liver Pâté with Katenspek

Chicken Liver Pâté with Katenspek

Photo © Karin Engelbrecht
French-style food became extremely au courant in 18th century Holland. Most Dutch cookbooks of the time included Dutch versions of classics from French cuisine, and many famous French cookbooks were translated into Dutch. In fact, employing a French chef was a status symbol for well-off Dutch families. Some French classics, such as pâté, have endured. Other French foods have become quintessentially Dutch (think of kroketten, a popular street food in the Netherlands today). But, unfortunately, many Dutch-French dishes from this period fell prey to the now infamous huishoudscholen, and were forgotten.

This chicken liver pâté was inspired by a poultry pâté recipe in Gerechten van de Heerlijkheid cookbook. We particularly like the use of Dutch katenspek in the original recipe, but adapted the rest of the recipe using what we had available at the time: chicken livers instead of turkey, hazelnuts instead of pistachios, and our own mix of fresh garden herbs. It's a simple recipe, ideal for first-time pâté makers, and one that can easily be adapted to your tastes. This recipe serves four generously, but can also be used as part of a larger spread for up to a dozen people.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: Serves 4-12


  • 1/3 cup (50 g) hazelnuts
  • 7 oz (200 g) chicken breast fillets
  • 3,5 oz (100 g) chicken livers
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tbsp chopped celery leaf (selderieblad, see Tips)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2/5 cup (100 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 8 slices katenspek (see Tips)
  • You will need:
  • A food processor
  • 4 ramekins
  • A roasting dish


Preheat the oven to (130 degrees C).

Place the hazelnuts in the food processor and pulse a few times until roughly chopped. Remove the nuts and set aside.

Cut the chicken breast fillet into cubes and place in the food processor along with the chicken livers. Blend until finely ground.

Add the herbs, garlic, cream and egg yolk and blend to mix. Add the chopped nuts and mix through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place a slice of katenspek over each ramekin, and place another slice on the diagonal. Fill the ramekins with the meat farce. Tuck the katenspek over the meat filling to create a covering.

Place the ramekins in a water bath (see Tips) and cook uncovered for about an hour on the center rack of your oven. Allow to cool and serve with crackers, toast points or crusty white bread and our speculaas-spiced apple & pear chutney or cranberry sauce.


  • Celery leaf is commonly used as a herb in the Netherlands (it is called selderieblad) and is available in the herb section of most Dutch supermarkets. If it's hard to find where you live, simply buy a bunch of stick celery and use the tender interior leaves.
  • If you can't find katenspek, use your favorite smoked bacon instead.
  • For the water bath: place the ramekins inside a larger oven-proof roasting dish. Pour hot water into the larger bottom dish, being careful not to get water inside the ramekins. The water should come about half way up the side of the ramekins. Carefully place the roasting dish on the center rack of the oven. This technique is also called au bain-marie.
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