Trust's Chicken Liver Mousse

From Chef Brad Wise

Yield: 4 cups


1 pound chicken livers

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons canola oil

4 ounces shallots, sliced

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced

1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, minced

2 tablespoons cognac

2 tablespoons madeira

1 tablespoon kosher salt

¾ cup heavy cream

Zest from 3 lemons 

2 pounds unsalted butter, cubed


1. Soak chicken livers overnight in milk. Place in colander over a bowl and drain. Put napkin on top of livers to soak up additional moisture.

2. Place a large skillet over medium high heat and add oil. Sauté shallots until they just start to brown. Stir in herbs. Add livers and cook until the middle is pink but not raw—medium rare. To check on doneness, cut through the thickest part of the livers. 

3. About halfway through the cooking process, deglaze the skillet with the liquor. Reduce the heat as the livers absorb the liquor. Add the salt and stir well.

4. Once the livers are cooked, turn off the heat and let sit about 20 seconds. 

5. Using a heavy-weight blender, like a Vitamix, add the liver mixture, scrapping the skillet clean to get all the bits included. Add the cream and the lemon zest. Blend until smooth. 

6. Take off the top and slowly add the butter while at medium/high speed. Add a pinch more salt while mixing.

7. If you want, you can strain the mousse mixture through a sieve. Stir the mixture and add more salt until it’s just a bit saltier than you think you’d like, taking into account what you’ll be serving the mousse with, such as whole grain mustard and jam.

8. Pour the mousse into a concave serving dish and refrigerate at least five hours to let it firm. You can make this several days in advance. To keep it fresh, melt butter and pour over the top to seal it and refrigerate. Before serving, lift up the congealed butter top and discard.