Chicken Liver Mousse
For a gift that will impress any foodie, prepare a jar of this savory appetizer spread from TV chef Nora Singley.
- Yield: Makes 2 3/4 cups
Photography: Rob Tannenbaum
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 pound fresh chicken livers, trimmed and patted dry
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 5 shallots, sliced
- 2 ripe Bartlett pears, cored and chopped
- 3 large fresh thyme sprigs, plus more for garnish
- 3 whole cloves
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon light-brown sugar
- 1/4 cup pear brandy
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar or Balsamic Syrup
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Clarified Butter, melted
- Maldon sea salt, for serving
- Red Onion and Golden Raisin Jam, for serving
- Toasts or fruit and nut bread slices, for serving
Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Season livers with salt and pepper; add to skillet and cook, turning once, until just cooked through (liver may be slightly pink inside), about 4 minutes per side. Remove livers from skillet and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium and add another tablespoon butter to skillet. Add shallots and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add pears, thyme, cloves, cinnamon sticks, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally and adding water as necessary to prevent burning, until pears are soft and easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, about 15 minutes.
Remove skillet from heat; uncover and add brandy, scraping up browned bits at bottom of skillet to deglaze. Remove thyme and cinnamon sticks from skillet and discard.
Cut remaining 5 tablespoons butter into small cubes. Transfer remaining contents of skillet to the bowl of a food processor along with chicken livers, cream, vinegar, nutmeg, and cut butter. Process until mixture is very smooth; season with salt and pepper.
Strain chicken liver mousse through a fine mesh sieve, using a spatula to push mousse through sieve. Transfer to a jars and top each with a sprig of fresh thyme. Add enough clarified butter to top of chicken liver mousse to form a thin film, about 1/16 of an inch; cover and transfer to refrigerator to chill. Keep chilled until ready to serve, up to 1 week. Serve with sea salt, jam, and toasts.