Easy Chicken Liver Mousse
It’s the holiday season and if you are hosting any sort of holiday party, you might be on the lookout for a special, but simple, appetizer. Allow me to introduce you to the Chicken Liver Mousse.
I know. I know. Chicken livers are humble food and not something that many people cook with often. But, when prepared correctly, they are actually one of my favorite appetizers. I think you will be shocked to find how easy this mousse is to make and how delicious it is served on crispy crackers with a dollop of jelly.
Speaking of crackers, I worked with Crunchmaster Crackers and tried a variety of their crackers out over the Thanksgiving holiday. I loved many of their varieties, but my absolute favorite was the Multi-Seed Chile Pasilla cracker. They use real Pasilla peppers that are slightly sweet and smoky and go perfectly with the creamy, savory chicken liver mousse.
The combo is pretty out of this world.
If you aren’t a spicy fan, you might also check out some of their other Multi-seed and Multi-Grain flavors! They have NINE!
The trick to making this mousse insanely light and spreadable is to make the chicken liver pate and then, once it’s chilled, fold it into fresh whipped cream. I know that sounds wild, but trust me. The lightness of the cream makes the mousse airy and easily spreadable.
It feeds a crowd, but it’ll go fast once people try it!
1) Rinse chicken livers and pat dry. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter and add chopped shallot. Cook until the shallots soften a bit, 2-3 minutes. Then season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
2) Add the thyme and chicken livers. Cook until chicken livers are browned and cooked through (they can still be slightly pink on the inside). Total cooking time should be 8-10 minutes.
3) Add bourbon and use the liquid to scrape up any bits stuck to the pan. The bourbon should cook after a minute or two. Then remove chicken livers from heat and let cool slightly.
4) Transfer skillet ingredients to a blender or food processor. Add two tablespoons cream and puree ingredients. It will be a thick mixture and you should use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender a few times.
5) When mixture is smooth, transfer to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap (actually press plastic onto the surface of the chicken liver mixture to prevent browning). Let chill for 90 minutes.
6) When mixture is chilled, whip ½ cup of cream until it holds its shape. Then stir in chilled chicken liver mixture. The cream will lighten the liver pate into a smooth and airy mousse.
Serve mousse immediately, spread on Crunchmaster crackers alongside strawberry or grape jelly and fresh chives. Leftover mousse keeps well in an airtight container for a few days in the fridge.
Oh these crackers! I put out a big spread of them during Thanksgiving and they were a huge hit. My faves were the spicy ones though. Love these.
Okay, on with the mousse! The first step is to make a pate with the chicken livers. The pate is actually servable as-is, it’s just a heavier spread that is actually sliceable once it is chilled.
It starts with shallot, butter, and thyme.
Once those cook for a bit, add your chicken livers. There’s nothing fancy with these. Just cook them until they are cooked through and a little pink on the inside is just fine. They should cook pretty quickly and then hit the pan with the bourbon to scrape up any bits stuck to the pan.
Let this mixture cool a bit before you think about blending it. Then add everything to your blender along with about two tablespoons of cream. Blend it up until super smooth. It’ll be pretty thick and you’ll probably have to stop a few times to scrape the sides of the blender.
Then it’s chill time. This has to cool down completely before you think about folding it into whipped cream. Hot things plus whipped cream don’t really go together.
But, once it is chilled, whip your cream and stir about half of the whip cream into the pate to lighten it. Then you can fold it into the rest of the whipped cream. The resulting mixture is super light and airy and easily spreadable.
I packaged mine in little airtight four ounce jars but you could just keep it in a bowl also. You could easily make it a day in advance, but it starts to break down after a few days so I wouldn’t make it too far in advance. If you’re storing it in the fridge, be sure to place some plastic wrap directly on top of it so it doesn’t oxidize.
I think the best topping for this chicken liver mousse is jelly. That might sound crazy but the mousse is so savory that it needs a little sweetness to round it out. Strawberry or grape jelly does the trick.