Trim the chicken livers of any visible fat and sinew and cut the larger pieces in half. Place in a shallow bowl and add the milk to cover (see notes).
Cover and refrigerate for 30 to 90 minutes, then drain thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels before cooking.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute longer.
Add the chicken livers, brandy, 1/2 teaspoon salt, a few grinds of black pepper and a pinch of allspice. Continue cooking, stirring often, until the livers are cooked through but still pink in the center, 7 to 9 minutes.
Taste and adjust the seasoning, then remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Once cooled, purée the mixture in a food processor until smooth and transfer to a small bowl for serving. Note: If you'd like a slightly creamier texture for your paté you can add a little mayonnaise (1 to 2 tablespoons) and process until blended.
Serve paté on crackers or thin slices of toasted baguette. Top with chopped fresh chives or paper-thin slices of sweet onion if desired.
Tips for Making This Recipe
Soaking the chicken livers in milk can help to mellow the flavor and ensure that they don't develop a bitter taste when cooked.It's an important step when cooking beef liver, but many people don't feel it's necessary with chicken livers. We happen to think soaking makes for better flavor in the end product, but you can certainly skip the process if you prefer.When shopping for chicken livers we recommend looking for an organic brand that raises their chickens humanely.