Chicken liver mousse

Chicken liver mousse


2 people made this

About this recipe: A splash of brandy makes this light and smooth mousse special enough for a dinner party first course. Poaching the chicken livers with vegetables and herbs, instead of frying them, gives them lots of flavour, and fromage frais adds the richness that would traditionally be added by butter, but without the saturated fat.

Norma MacMillan

Serves: 4 

  • 250 g (9 oz) chicken livers, well trimmed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 600 ml (1 pint) vegetable stock or water
  • several sprigs of parsley
  • several sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1–1½ tbsp fromage frais
  • 2 tsp garlic vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp brandy or Calvados, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp pink or green peppercorns in brine, drained and patted dry
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper

Prep:4hr10min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:4hr25min 

  1. Place the chicken livers, onion and garlic in a saucepan and add stock or water to cover. Tie the parsley, thyme and bay leaf into a bouquet garni and add to the pan. Slowly bring to the boil, skimming the surface as necessary, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5–8 minutes or until the livers are cooked through but still slightly pink in the centre when you cut into one.
  2. Drain, and discard the bouquet garni. Tip the livers, onions and garlic into a food processor. Add 1 tbsp of the fromage frais, the vinegar and brandy, and process until smooth, adding the remaining 1/2 tbsp fromage frais if it is necessary for a lighter texture. Season to taste, then stir in the peppercorns. Alternatively, tip the livers, onions and garlic into a bowl and mash with a fork to a slightly coarse paste. Add the fromage frais, vinegar and brandy and mix well, then season and stir in the peppercorns.
  3. Spoon the mousse into a serving bowl, or individual ramekins, and smooth the top. Sprinkle with a layer of finely chopped parsley. Cover with cling film and chill for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
  4. Before serving, allow the mousse to return to room temperature. Serve with slices of hot toast.

Some more ideas

Replace the brandy with orange juice and add the finely grated zest of ½ orange. * If you can't find pink or green peppercorns, substitute finely chopped drained capers. * For a smooth mousse, made without a food processor, omit the onion, and sieve the cooked livers and garlic. Add 2 spring onions, finely chopped, with the peppercorns. * For a less rich mousse to serve 6, omit the brandy and add 100 g (3½ oz) drained canned cannellini beans, rinsed and dried, to the food processor with ½ tbsp finely chopped fresh sage. This mousse is excellent on toasted slices of country-style bread, or spread on slices of baguette and then topped with sliced gherkins. * Vary the herbs – chopped fresh chives, tarragon and mint all go well with chicken liver mousse.

Plus points

Chicken livers are one of the richest sources of iron – each serving of this mousse provides more than half of the recommended daily intake. * Many traditional recipes for chicken liver mousse and pâté seal the surface with a layer of melted or clarified butter for storage. In this version the fat is replaced by the chopped fresh herbs.

Each serving provides

A, B2, B6, B12, folate, iron, C, copper, zinc, B1, niacin

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Reviews (1)


This is really easy, tasty and low fat... I've been looking for a decent, healthy chicken liver pate recipe, and this one is so good. I use fat free fromage fais and omit the brandy, purely because my diet is limited, but the taste is amazing! - 16 Jun 2013

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