Chicken Liver Mousse

mouusse

 

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.

Serves 12

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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.

Cook’s Note:
To make mousse light and fluffy, whip with mixer before serving.


Cranberry and Orange Scones

scones

Makes 1 Dozen

Ingredients:
For the Scones

3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar, divided
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
2 1/2 teaspoons orange zest

For the Glaze
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon whole milk
2 teaspoons maple syrup

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 º F .

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add butter and mix in with your hands until dough becomes coarse crumbs. Stir in milk until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Mix and fold in the cranberries and orange zest.

Turn dough onto a lightly-floured work surface and knead gently until dough is no longer sticky.

Divide dough in half and gently form each half into a 7 inch circle, about 1 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut each circle into six even triangular pieces. Separate and set aside.

Place the scones on the lined baking pan. Bake for 10-13 minutes or, until tops are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and set aside.

In a separate bowl mix together confectioner’s sugar, orange zest, teaspoon lemon zest, milk and maple syrup to make the glaze. When the scones are slightly cool, drizzle glaze over the top with a spoon or rubber spatula. Serve warm.

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