- Drain the livers if you need to. Blot them dry on kitchen paper. Sit them on a board. Use a small sharp knife to cut away any fat or discoloured attachments. Discard. If the livers are very large, chop into bite sized pieces.
- Wash your hands. Finely chop the shallots on a separate board with a different knife. Crush the garlic. Slice the bacon thinly.
- Put a frying pan on to low heat. Add the butter. Once it melts, add the shallots and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes stirring, until it softens without colouring. Increase the heat a little.
- Add the bacon. Cook, stirring for 4 minutes. Increase the heat a little.
- Add the chicken liver. Cook, stirring for a few minutes until the pieces are browned on the outside but still a little bit pink inside.
- Increase the heat. Add the Jack Daniels, brandy or juice. Allow it to sizzle for a couple of minutes to finish cooking the liver. Add the herbs and season lightly (the bacon is already salty). Set aside for 3 minutes.
- Tip the liver mix into a food processor. Add the cheese plus a really good squeeze of lemon juice. Blitz until the mix is smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust the seasoning/lemon. Add more cheese for a smoother pate. Spoon into a bowl or a clean jar. Leave a little room at the top for the butter seal. Let the pate cool for 5 minutes.
- Melt the extra butter in a small pan. Pour it over the top of the pate. You can add a few peppercorns or a bay leaf if you want it to look special. Chill. The flavours develop. This keeps, sealed, for a week.
- Serve with pickles, bread, crackers or to make melba toast: Pre-heat the oven to 150C/300F/gas 2. Toast a few slices of a regular white loaf. Remove crusts. Cut sideways through each slice so you can peel the two sides apart. Bake on a tray for 10 minutes or until curled, browned and crisp. Watch they don’t burn. Store when cool in an airtight tin.
- Scoop the pate out with a spoon or cut out as much as you need.