Chicken Liver Mousse with Red-Wine-Glazed Prunes
- ACTIVE: 45 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 10 HRS
- SERVINGS: Makes 2 1/2 cups
For this silky mousse, chef Aaron Barnett cooks chicken livers in brandy and honey; the wine-glazed prunes he serves alongside are so good, you'll want to double the recipe.
- 1 pound chicken livers, trimmed
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup pitted prunes
- 1/3 cup red wine
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon brandy
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium baguette, cut into 1/4-inch slices and toasted
- In a medium bowl, cover the livers with the milk and refrigerate for at least 5 hours or overnight.
- In a small saucepan, combine the prunes with the red wine, orange juice, lemon juice and sugar and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced to a thick syrup, about 6 minutes. Let cool and refrigerate.
- In another small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 4 minutes.
- Drain the livers, pat dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add the livers and cook over high heat until well browned, about 1 minute per side. Add the onion-garlic mixture, along with the honey and 1/4 cup of the brandy and light carefully with a long match. Cook the livers until the flames die out and the brandy has reduced to a glaze, about 3 minutes.
- Scrape the hot livers into a food processor. Add the cream and blend until smooth. Blend in the remaining 1 tablespoon of brandy and season with salt and pepper. Strain the liver mousse through a fine sieve into a medium bowl. Pack the mousse into a serving bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Serve the liver mousse with the toasts and prunes.
The sweet richness of the dish makes it a good match for a bright-berried Oregon Gamay Noir from Portland. For an easier-to-find Gamay, try one from Beaujolais.