Chicken livers are a staple of New Orleans markets; this chicken liver pate is served with toast points, olives, and cornichons.
Place mushrooms in a small bowl; pour the boiling water over. Cover, and let steep until mushrooms are soft, about 15 minutes. Strain through a sieve, reserving liquid. Finely chop mushrooms.
Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken livers and half the thyme; season with salt and pepper. Saute until livers are lightly browned on the outside and light pink on the inside, 6 to 7 minutes, adding half the garlic after 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 1/2 tablespoon brandy. Transfer mixture and all juices to a large bowl. Repeat with remaining livers.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in same pan; add bread cubes and the reserved mushroom liquid, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Combine with liver mixture.
Working in batches if necessary, transfer to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until mixture is smooth, about 3 minutes. Add lemon juice, and adjust seasoning. Transfer to a 2-cup serving dish.
Melt remaining tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Skim off white foam from surface, and discard. Drizzle melted butter over top of pate, and place in refrigerator, covered, until butter is set, at least 1 hour. Bring to room temperature 1 hour before serving; scrape off butter, if desired, and serve.
Pate can be stored for up to four days in the refrigerator; the butter layer keeps it fresh.