An easy recipe for chicken liver mousse that you make in your food processor. Delicious and creamy, this delicate mousse is a great way to add offal to your diet.
Internal organs are not very popular in the modern USA. I do like them a lot, but I grew up eating them. It always amazes me when I buy livers at Whole Foods and the butcher asks me if I'm buying them for my dog. I don't actually own a dog. 🙂
If you're curious about offal and would like to give it a try, chicken livers are a good place to start because their texture is pleasant and their flavor is fairly mild.
Turning offal into a tasty mousse
Chicken liver mousse is a delicacy. It is also surprisingly easy to make. It's one of those seemingly sophisticated dishes that you can impress your guests with, all the while knowing that you did not invest much effort in it!
This is a great way to turn chicken liver into a delectable dish that even reluctant offal eaters might be able to tolerate - and even enjoy.
The ingredients needed for this recipe
There are the ingredients you'll need to make this tasty appetizer. The exact amounts are listed in the recipe card below:
Duck fat: I love its texture and the flavor it adds to the mousse. You can also use ghee or butter.
Fresh chicken livers: Not available in most U.S. supermarkets, unfortunately. I get them at Whole Foods.
Onions: You can use shallots instead for a milder flavor.
Brandy: I really wouldn't skip it. It adds great flavor.
Heavy cream: Another important ingredient that adds creaminess and silkiness.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the mousse could end up too salty.
Spices: Allspice and dried thyme. Make sure they are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
How to make chicken liver mousse
Scroll down to the recipe card for the full instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Cook the chicken livers and the onions in duck fat. Make sure you don't overcook the livers. Transfer the cooked livers and onions to your food processor.
2. Now add the brandy to the skillet. Cook on high to reduce it, then transfer to the food processor.
3. Add the heavy cream, kosher salt, black pepper, allspice, and dried thyme to the food processor. Cover and process into a smooth paste.
4. Now add the remaining duck fat and process again, until light and fluffy.
5. Divide the mixture evenly among four individual ramekins. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. This will allow the flavors to meld.
Don't overcook the livers
The most important thing when making chicken liver mousse, in my opinion, is to make sure you don't overcook the livers. They should still be pink in the middle. Properly cooked chicken livers are tender and flavorful. Overcooked ones are tough and gummy.
Adaptations to a classic recipe
This recipe is loosely based on Julia Child's classic recipe. But I did make several changes to her recipe over the years, to accommodate my family's preferences.
Instead of melted butter, I use room temperature duck fat or ghee. Both are delicious, and both do not get as hard when refrigerated. This results in a softer, fluffier mousse consistency.
I also use half the amount of fat listed in the original recipe, which saves calories but makes for a stronger liver taste. The more fat you add to the mousse, the milder it will taste.
How to serve chicken liver mousse
It's photographed here with gluten-free toast. But it's just as good served with any of the following options:
More tasty offal recipes
If you'd like to try a rustic version of chicken liver mousse, try this very tasty recipe for traditional Jewish chopped liver.
Fried chicken livers with onions are a simple and tasty way of cooking livers.
And if you're willing to venture beyond livers, these pan-fried chicken hearts are a surprising delicacy.
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Chicken Liver Mousse
- 5 tablespoons duck fat or ghee, room temperature, divided
- 1 lb. chicken livers, cleaned from sinew
- ¼ cup minced onions
- ¼ cup brandy
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon dried thyme
- Melt 1 tablespoon duck fat over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the livers and the onions. Cook the livers 2-3 minutes on each side, just until no longer raw – center should be pink. Transfer the cooked livers and onions to your food processor’s bowl, leaving any liquids in the skillet.
- Add the brandy to the skillet. Cook on high until it’s reduced to 3 tablespoons, about 1 minute. Use a rubber spatula to transfer the skillet contents to the food processor.
- Add the heavy cream, kosher salt, allspice, black pepper and dried thyme to the food processor bowl. Cover and process on high about 1 minute, until the liver turns into a smooth paste.
- Add the remaining duck fat and process again, until well-incorporated. Continue to process 1 more minute, until light and fluffy.
- Divide the mixture evenly among four individual containers (such as small jars or ramekins). Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. If refrigerating overnight, remove from fridge 1 hour before serving.