Chicken liver and raspberry mousse

Parfait de mousse de foie de volaille aux framboises does sound nicer, doesn’t it? In fact, and yes I’m showing my linguistic prejudices here, all menus sound better in French than English.

Crème anglaise or custard with that, madam? Vichyssoise or cold leek and potato soup?

It’s an easy choice.

This chicken liver and raspberry mousse is pretty easy; a little cooking, some assembly required, there you go.

Start with your chicken livers; no need to do much to them, just put them into a frying pan and heat them through in a little melted butter. I did this with 600 grammes of livers.

Next, the slightly difficult part: mix them up them force them through a sieve. Yes, against their will if necessary.

I cook them in a saucepan so I can mix them up with a hand blender and then sieve them; if you wish, you could use a frying pan and then a blender, which I never use. Blenders are something else to go wrong, less versatile than a hand blender and much harder to clean to boot. But it’s your choice.

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It takes a while to do this and it it pretty messy. There are other ways to do this, but this is the easiest overall. Traditionally when cooking chicken livers you trim them by cutting out the veins and cells and crunchy bits before frying them off, and if you’re putting them in a salad then that is what you should do.

However, to get the perfect parfait you do need to ensure no nasty bits are left in them, so you sieve them anyway. So cut out the first bit and do this anyway = 10 minutes of your life back, you’re welcome.

I put my sieve on top of a close-fitting stainless steel bowl and force the livers through using a wooden spatula. It works well, but you could use plastic or silicone scrapers if you prefer. The object it to get all the meat through and leave behind the stringy bits.

In the bowl I’ve already put two 250g packs of butter, on salted one unsalted. The mousse will start to melt the butter, making it easier to mix them up. Once you’ve finished sieving the livers, add in 500g of raspberries and 100ml of raspberry vinegar. Then you mix it all together to a smooth paste.

You can do this with a wooden spoon or even your hands, and your resulting parfait will be denser; I use a hand mixer and it makes the mixture quite airy and light.

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Scrape around the bottom and sides of the bowl with a spoon a couple of times to ensure it mixes well, then put it into individual ramekins, large ramekins, whatever you want depending on how you want to portion this up.

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Then cook it in a bain marie for 30-60 minutes at 150°C – until the temperature inside gets over about 75°C. For the bain marie I use a regular oven dish into which I pour a kettle of boiling water. Bains marie ensure that whatever your cooking’s bottom doesn’t get over 100°C, so it doesn’t cook to quickly or too much and dry out.

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Allow the resulting parfait to cool down after cooking before refrigerating; I keep it for 3 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.

Spread on toasted sourdough, it’s delicious.

 

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