Turkey Liver Mousse Toasts with Pickled Shallots

This hors d'oeuvre is a Louisiana riff on traditional French chicken liver pate. The Rushings create a silken mousse with livers from the quintessential American bird, turkey, but you can also use chicken livers. Instead of cornichons, the little French pickles, the Rushings add a sweet-and-tangy Southern accent--pickled shallots.


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  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 10
  • Time(Other): plus 4 hr chilling


  • 1 pound turkey or chicken livers, trimmed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet red apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 sage leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 baguette, sliced 1/3 inch thick on the diagonal
pickled shallots
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 4 large shallots (1/2 pound), thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 thyme sprig

How to make this recipe

  1. MAKE THE BAGUETTE TOASTS In a medium bowl, cover the livers with the milk and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. MAKE THE BAGUETTE TOASTS In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the apple, shallot, garlic, sage, cinnamon, pepper and 1 teaspoon of the salt and cook over moderate heat until the shallot is softened, about 4 minutes. Drain the turkey livers and pat dry. Add them to the skillet and cook until just pink inside, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the bourbon and simmer for 1 minute.
  3. MAKE THE BAGUETTE TOASTS Transfer the contents of the skillet to a food processor. Add the cream and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and puree until smooth. Scrape the mousse into a small bowl and refrigerate until firm enough to spread, at least 4 hours.
  4. MAKE THE BAGUETTE TOASTS In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with the vinegar and simmer over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the shallots, salt, pepper and thyme and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are softened, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the shallots pickle for 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shallots from the brine and spread on a plate to cool. Discard the thyme sprig. Transfer to a bowl for serving.
  5. MAKE THE BAGUETTE TOASTS Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the baguette slices on baking sheets and toast for about 7 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Serve the mousse with the toasts and the pickled shallots.

Make Ahead

Pour a layer of cooled, melted butter over the chilled mousse. Cover tightly with plastic and refrigerate for up to 5 days. The drained shallots can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Scrape the butter off the mousse before serving.

Contributed By Photo © Petrina Tinslay Published November 2005

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