French Pâté

Chicken Liver Mousse

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Mousse de Foies de Volaille or Chicken Liver Mousse is creamy and delicious. It's beautiful packed in a rustic crock and served with spiced prunes, fig jam, Cornichon pickles, fermented vegetables, walnuts and crackers or baguette. Use the best quality organic, free range chicken livers that you can find.

See my Liver & Mushroom Mousse below which substitutes mushrooms for the cream and is a good immune booster during fall and winter.

Makes two cups

  • 1 lb. chicken livers, preferably from organic, free range chickens

  • 2 Tbls. minced shallots

  • 2 Tbls. unsalted butter

  • 1/3 cup Madeira, Cognac or brandy

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1/8 tsp. each white pepper and allspice

  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature & cut into pieces

  1. Look over livers and remove any greenish or black spots. Cut livers into 1/2-inch pieces.

  2. Sauté the shallots in the 2 Tbls. butter until limp. Add livers and sauté 2 to 3 minutes until the livers are just stiffened, but still rosy inside. Scrape them into a food processor or high-speed blender.

  3. Pour the alcohol into the sauté pan and reduce, scraping bits in the pan to 3 Tbls. Add to the blender.

  4. Add cream and seasoning and blend until liver is a smooth paste. Add butter piece by piece while machine is running and blend a few seconds more. Adjust seasoning. Note: items prepared hot but to be served cold should be highly seasoned as seasoning mellows when cold.

  5. Force the mixture through a sieve for a smoother texture and pack into your serving bowl or jar. Press wax paper or plastic wrap directly onto the paté so no air penetrates. Chill two to three hours or over night. 


Liver & Mushroom Mousse

6 to 8 oz button or cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly

  1. Sauté the shallots and chicken livers (step 2 above) in 1 tablespoon butter as above. Scrape the mixture into a food processor or high-speed blender.

  2. Add the second tablespoon of butter to the pan and sauté the mushrooms until tender and there is no moisture left in the pan. Season with salt and add to the food processor.

  3. Proceed with step 3 above.

Adapted from Mastering The Art of French Cooking, Simone Beck, Louisette Bertholle & Julia Child