2000s Recipes + Menus

Chicken Liver Mousse with Grape Gelée

Makes2 (8-oz) terrines
  • Active time:30 min
  • Start to finish:4 hr (includes chilling)
March 2009
Cooking puréed chicken livers with shallots, cream, and seasonings in a water bath produces a supremely smooth mousse. Gild the lily with a layer of clear red-grape gelée. The grapes (left over from Sangria Chicken) provide a sweet contrast to the earthy mousse.

For mousse

  • 1/2 cup sliced shallots (2 large)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 lb chicken livers, trimmed

For gelée

  • 1/2 lb red seedless grapes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/8 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • Equipment:

    2 (8-oz) ramekins or crocks
  • Accompaniment:

    crackers or baguette slices

Make mousse:

  • Preheat oven to 300ºF with rack in middle.
  • Cook shallots in butter with bay leaf, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper in a small heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in cream and simmer until shallots are soft, about 6 minutes. Cool slightly.
  • Purée livers with shallot mixture in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Force through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring cup and let cool.
  • Divide liver mixture among ramekins, then cover each ramekin with foil. Bake in a water bath (see Tips) until mousse is just set, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove foil and transfer ramekins to a rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour, then chill at least 1 hour.

Prepare gelée once mousse is cold:

  • Purée grapes in cleaned blender until smooth, then transfer to a small heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil with sugar and a pinch of salt, stirring occasionally, then boil until reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 6 minutes. Strain through cleaned fine-mesh sieve into a measuring cup.
  • Sprinkle gelatin over 2 Tbsp grape juice in another small saucepan and let soften 1 minute. Heat mixture over low heat, swirling pan, until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar and remaining grape juice. Cool 5 minutes, then stir in chives. Spoon about 3 Tbsp grape mixture over each mousse. Chill until gelée is set, about 1 hour.
  • Before serving, bring mousse to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Cooks’ note: Mousse with gelée can be chilled up to 3 days.
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