Pâté, fennel jam & hazelnuts

Pâté, fennel jam & hazelnuts

The New Nordic
Simon Bajada

Liver paste (known commonly as pâté) is a popular topping for the ubiquitous open sandwiches found all across the Nordic region. Unfortunately, it is usually mass-produced and packed with additives and preservatives. Chicken livers are cheap and delicious, and cooked, as here, with spiced aquavit they provide a little Nordic twist on the southern European classic. This is a great grazer served on crispbread, with sweetness from the fennel jam and an earthy crunch from the nuts.


Quantity Ingredient
300g salted butter, at room temperature
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 teaspoons rapeseed oil
400g whole chicken livers, after trimming
sea salt
white pepper
60ml spiced aquavit
a few thyme sprigs, leaves picked, plus extra to garnish
Authentic Danish rye bread, to serve
A simpler Danish rye bread, to serve
or crispbreads, to serve
100g toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped

Fennel jam

Quantity Ingredient
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 x 600g fennel bulb, very thinly sliced
140g caster sugar
1/2 lemon, juiced


  1. Sterilise a couple of glass jars by washing them thoroughly in hot soapy water, rinsing well, then putting them on a baking tray in a low oven (120°C) for 20 minutes. Leave to cool.
  2. To make the fennel jam, combine the salt, fennel, sugar and lemon juice in a small heavy-based saucepan over a very low heat and cook for at least 40 minutes and up to an hour, stirring often to make sure it doesn’t catch on the base of the pan. The fennel should be soft and the mixture a rich golden colour. If the mixture starts to dry out, cover with a lid. Allow to cool a little then transfer the jam to the sterilised jars (they can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks).
  3. Meanwhile, clarify 100 g of the butter by melting it in a small saucepan over a low heat until the white solids separate out. Gently pour the golden melted butter into a bowl or jug and discard the solids.
  4. In a non-stick frying pan sauté the shallots and garlic in the oil over a medium heat for 3 minutes, or until soft. Increase the heat, add the chicken livers and season with sea salt and a pinch of white pepper. Cook the livers on all sides for a minute or so, just to seal, then continue to cook for 4–5 minutes, until they start to give out some moisture. Pour in the aquavit, cook for 1 minute more, then transfer to a blender.
  5. Add the remaining butter, some more white pepper and the thyme leaves and blend for 3 minutes, stopping every so often to scrape down the sides.
  6. Transfer to a shallow 600 ml glass or ceramic dish. If you want a very smooth pâté, pass the mixture through a fine sieve straight into the dish. Pour over the clarified butter then set in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. The flavours develop with time, so ideally leave it overnight. Covered in plastic wrap, it will keep for up to a week.
  7. Serve the pâté with rye bread or crispbreads and the fennel jam. Scatter over the toasted hazelnuts and garnish with the extra thyme leaves.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again