Italian Pâté with fried anchovies, capers & lemon

Mix it up with this Italian Pâté recipe from that adds a punch of umami with anchovies & capers, finished with warm sage and tangy lemon. It's addictive!


  • 1 1/2 lbs / 680 g chicken livers
  • 1/4 cup / 60 ml lard or avocado oil
  • 3 medium shallots
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 oz / 55 g can of flat anchovy fillets (about 9 fillets)
  • 1/4 cup / 56 g capers (see notes)
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground sage
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon zest (about 1 medium lemon)
  • 12 tbsp / 15 – 30 ml lemon juice, to taste


  1. PREP: First, drain and trim your chicken livers. You’ll want to cut off and discard any fatty pieces or stringy membrane between the two halves of each liver. Trim off any other little pieces of fat, fibers or bile you find and discard. Put your trimmed chicken livers into a bowl and place them in the fridge until you need them later. Peel, then slice the shallots. Peel and lightly smash the garlic cloves with the back of your kitchen knife. Drain the anchovy fillets of any oil they’re in.
  2. FRY: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the fat or oil to the skillet and, when it is hot, add the shallots, garlic, anchovy fillets and capers. Cook until the shallots begin to soften and turn golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 – 8 minutes. Add the chicken livers to the pan and sprinkle with the ground sage. Cook, turning once, until each side is opaque and just cooked through, about 3 – 4 minutes per side. There should still be just a little pink in the centers of the livers – you don’t want to overcook them as that will create bitterness.
  3. BLEND: Remove the skillet from the heat and carefully transfer everything to a high powered blender, including any cooking liquid. Add the fresh lemon zest and 1 tbsp / 15 ml of the fresh lemon juice. Blend, scraping down the sides often, until the pâté is smooth and creamy. Taste and add more lemon juice and / or salt if you wish before blending a final time to combine all ingredients.
  4. STORE: You can pour the pâté into a large dish, or divide it into ramekins and keep in the fridge, with some cling wrap pressed onto the top for about 3 – 4 days. If you seal the pâté with a layer of melted fat before storing in the fridge, it will last a little longer as the fat solidifies and forms an airtight seal. Alternatively, you can freeze the pâté in individual servings using my easy method.


A quick note on capers: you’ll want to look for either brined capers without vinegar in the brine or salted capers. If your brine ingredients list “vinegar”, that usually means they used cheap white vinegar, which is made from corn. If you’re grain free, you’re gonna want to skip that stuff.

You can occasionally find brined capers that use white wine vinegar and that is a-ok: just make sure the ingredients list specifies the type of vinegar used or skip ’em. Salted capers should just contain capers and salt. But if you use those bad boys, you’ll want to rinse the capers off so that you don’t end up with an Italian Pâté that’s oversalted. You can always add more salt at the end, but you can’t take it away!