Chicken-Liver Mousse with Pickled Red Onion
- ACTIVE: 35 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 2 HR Plus cooling and overnight chilling
- SERVINGS: 10 to 12 servings
A good recipe for chicken-liver mousse is critical, says Shawn McClain, "because when a recipe's bad, it's really bad." His version is supremely silky and light, with a lovely hint of apple from Calvados. He serves the mousse with pickled red onion and toasted baguette slices alongside, so guests can assemble their own crostini.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 pound chicken livers, trimmed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
- 1/2 small onion, finely diced
- 1 small Granny Smith apple—peeled, cored and finely diced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 cup Calvados or other brandy
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 5 large egg yolks
- Toasted baguette slices and Pickled Red Onion, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 300°. Butter four 1-cup ramekins. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate. Add the chicken livers to the skillet, season with salt and white pepper and cook over moderate heat until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the plate.
- Add the onion, apple and allspice to the skillet and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion and apple are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the Calvados and carefully ignite it with a long match. When the flames subside, scrape the apple-onion mixture into a blender and let cool to room temperature.
- Add the bacon and chicken livers to the onion-and-apple mixture in the blender, along with the half-and-half, egg yolks and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Blend until very smooth. Pass the mixture through a coarse sieve into a large glass measuring cup. Pour into the prepared ramekins and transfer to a small roasting pan. Add enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins, cover loosely with foil and bake the chicken-liver mousse for about 1 1/2 hours, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the mousse registers 155°. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and let cool to room temperature.
- Cover and refrigerate the ramekins until the mousse is chilled, preferably overnight. Serve with toasted baguette slices and Pickled Red Onion.
Serve Shawn McClain's Sparkling Pomegranate Punch. For a wine alternative, pour a dry, sparkling California rosé.