Thanks to the “yuck” reaction that offal provokes, and the tedious predictability of their cooking treatment, chicken livers don’t top most people’s shopping lists. That’s a shame, because when nicely cooked (seared on the outside, still rosy within), with their robust, meaty character balanced by another big flavor (think vinegar, pomegranate molasses, bacon, marsala, tart berries), and perhaps freshened up at the last moment with salad leaves and fresh herbs, they make most rewarding eating.And they are affordable if you are trying to stretch a budget.
Chicken livers are high in protein and a rich store of folate, which is important for fertility and helps prevent certain birth defects. (it is advised that pregnant women not eat liver because too much vitamin A can harm the baby.) Livers are also loaded with iron to give you energy and a treasure trove of certain B vitamins, most notably B12. This nutritional profile makes them a good choice for anyone prone to anemia. Chicken livers are also one of the top sources of vitamin A, which helps eye health.
Supermarkets sell containers or packs of fresh chicken livers for around $2.49/lb. But because the richness of chicken livers means that just a few will go a long way, you can probably afford to trade up for the best. Expect to pay around £8-10/lb for organic livers, either at the farmer’s market or a specialty gourmet market.
5 pounds chicken livers, soaked 12 hours or overnight in milk
5 cups heavy cream
½ cup Cognac
Salt, to taste
Micro herbs or edible flowers, for garnish
Heat oven to 300°F.
Purée livers, cream, Cognac and salt in a blender until smooth, then pour mixture into a baking pan and place pan inside a larger pan. Fill the larger pan with water, cover with foil and bake until a thermometer inserted into mousse registers 155°F.
Remove mousse from oven, remove small baking pan from large pan and place on wire rack to cool. Once cooled, reserve in refrigerator.
To serve, spread mousse over toasted bread or crackers. Garnish with herbs, greens or edible flowers.
To make mousse light and fluffy, whip with mixer before serving.