Chicken Liver Mousse

This chopped liver–style mousse retains a bit of texture, making it a rustic and flavorful rendition of the classic. When cooking the onions, add a splash of water to the skillet if needed to prevent burning and ensure maximum caramelization. Paired with Pinot Noir jam, hazelnuts, and spread on baguette slices, it’s the perfect start to winemaker Clare Carver’s harvest feast at Big Table Farm in Gaston, Oregon.

Chicken Liver Mousse
Photo: Erin Kunkel
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs
4 cups


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 1 pound cleaned chicken livers, rinsed and patted dry

  • 3 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

  • 2 medium-size yellow onions, chopped

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

  • 2 tablespoons applejack brandy (such as Laird’s Blended Applejack)

  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (8 ounces), softened and cut into pieces

  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

  • Toasted baguette slices, chopped toasted hazelnuts, and Pinot Noir jam or other jam, for serving


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Season both sides of chicken livers with 2 teaspoons salt and pepper. Cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Reduce heat to medium-low; add onions, 1/4 cup butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are deep golden brown, about 20 minutes, stirring in thyme and garlic during last 2 minutes of cook time. Remove from heat. Immediately add brandy and sugar, stirring and scraping to loosen browned bits on bottom of skillet. Let cool 20 minutes.

  2. Place eggs, onion mixture, livers, and remaining 11/4 teaspoons salt in a food processor. Process until a coarse puree forms, about 20 seconds. With processor running, add 1 cup softened butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, processing until blended and mostly smooth, about 1 minute. Spoon into an airtight container; refrigerate until slightly firm but spreadable, about 2 hours. Transfer to a serving bowl; garnish with parsley. Serve with baguette, hazelnuts, and jam.

Make Ahead

Mousse can be made and refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days ahead.

Suggested Pairing

Brightly flavorful Chardonnay.

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