Every time I make chicken liver paté, I go through the same head-scratching search. So, finally, here is the answer written down.
This makes enough to fill precisely my large Le Creuset terrine which, I think, holds about 2lbs. (That makes sense if you add up the weigths of the ingredients.) This is a party-sized recipe.
Melt about 30g butter in a frying pan and add one third of the chicken livers and one third of the chopped anchovies. Add a few grindings of black pepper and cook them gently, turning once, for about 7 minutes until cooked through. Tip them, along with all the pan juices, into a food processor. Repeat this process with fresh butter for the remaining two portions of chicken livers.
In the same pan, melt a further 30g butter and sweat the chopped shallots, along with the fresh thyme, until the shallots are soft but not browned (about 5 minutes). Stir in the smashed garlic towards the end and cook it for about 2 minutes. Toss in the brandy and simmer it for a minute to drive off the alcohol. (Sniff it, don’t waste it.) Tip this lot into the blender with the livers.
Assuming you have 2 x 250g/8oz packs of butter, you will have used half of one pack. Keep the remaining half to melt and seal the top of the paté. Roughly dice the contents of your second, unbroken pack of butter and add it to the processor. Blitz it all until smooth. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, being careful with the salt because you have anchovies in there.
Fill your chosen paté container(s) with the blitzed paté and smooth the top. Melt the reserved 120g/4oz/half pack of butter over gentle heat. Place the bay leaves on top of the paté and gently pour over enough melted butter to cover the top completely. The bay leaves will, of course, try to float away so be firm.
Allow the paté to cool and then refrigerate until needed. Remove it from the fridge about an hour before you want to serve it though – it tastes better at room temperature.