By Josh Jones, Chef at Salt & Time in Austin, TX
This week’s Nose-to-Tailgate recipe is a delicious, luxuriant dish from chef and butcher Josh Jones. It will class-up any menu, whether served as part of a holiday spread or shared with fellow fans in the bleachers.
So I have a slightly different method of making chicken liver mousse. I learned it from one of my best friends and mentors. This does require the use of a blender or vitamix, so it is best made at home ahead of time. I make my own mascarpone cheese, but you can buy it easily from the store as well. I will list a quick recipe as a footnote at the bottom.
Chicken Liver Mousse
1 lb chicken livers
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup dry white wine
1 stem of sage leaves
2 stems of thyme
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
The first step is to denude your chicken livers of any fat, connective tissue or veins. You can start your panade while you are cleaning chickens. Panade will be the binder for your mousse. You want to rough chop your garlic and onion, and combine it with herbs, 1 cup of cream, and your wine. Put on medium to low heat. You are going to want to let it reduce to au sec, or until it coats the back of a spoon. While your panade is reduced, take your cleaned livers and drop them into your blender. I like to let them buzz down on high until they take on a very liquid consistency. Now you are going to need a bowl strainer or sieve. You will pour your livers through the sieve and keep moving them around with a spatula until all of the liquid has strained through the sieve and all the solid matter is separated. Once your panade has reduced to au sec you are going to strain it as well. Now fold your panade into the livers. Make sure they are fully incorporated together. Pour your mixture into a baking dish and place the dish into a water bath that comes about an inch up the side. Have your oven preheated to 350 Degrees. Place the mousse on the center rack of the oven as close to the middle as possible. Let cook for 20-30 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. For the final step you will need your blender again. Scoop your baked mousse into the blender and add your mascarpone cheese and a good pinch of salt. Turn the blender on and slowly add your last cup of heavy cream. You may not need the whole cup, you want to pay careful attention and wait for it to smooth out. Make sure you add enough salt, things that tasted salted when they were warm tend to be bland when they are cold. Now pour your mix into whatever you plan on serving it in and let chill for an hour or two.
I like to eat it with some crostini and pickles, or a nice jam or preserve.