At her New York City restaurant, Vic’s, Hillary Sterling serves this chicken liver mousse with her Confit Kugel Wedges, but we love it as an appetizer or stirred into pasta. Soaking chicken livers in milk helps remove some bitterness, so don’t skip this step. Ask for livers at the butcher counter. If you’d like to serve this recipe for Passover, please see our Kosher Chicken Liver Mousse, which does not contain any dairy.

April 2019


Credit: Christopher Testani

Recipe Summary

16 hrs 40 mins
35 mins
Makes 3 cups


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Place livers in a deep baking dish. Pour milk over livers; cover and chill 8 hours or up to overnight.

  • Remove livers from milk; discard milk. Rinse livers, and pat dry; arrange in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt; cover and chill 8 hours or up to overnight.

  • Heat duck fat and oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add livers; cook until medium-rare, 1 minute to 1 minute and 30 seconds per side. Transfer livers to a plate. Reduce heat under skillet to medium; add shallots and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until tender and caramelized, about 6 minutes. Stir in Madeira, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of skillet. Cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Stir in cream and thyme. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high; stir in livers. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Remove and discard thyme.

  • Transfer liver mixture to a food processor. Add lemon zest, ground juniper berries, and pepper. Process mixture, gradually adding butter pieces, until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes. Stir in vincotto and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. (If desired, pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer to make completely smooth; discard solids.) Store, covered, in refrigerator up to 1 week.