Mousse of Poultry Liver
Pretty molds of mousse are dressed with fresh tomato sauce and herbs. The colors are bright, the mousse is silky, and the garnishes are crisp, a wonderful combination of flavors and textures.
- Onion - 1/2, chopped
- Chicken Livers - 1 pound
- Shallots - 2
- Thyme - 1 sprig
- Garlic Cloves - 2
- Parsley Leaves - 4, stemmed and chopped
- Basil leaves - 2 stemmed and chopped
- Eggs - 3
- Lard or Duck Fat - 7 ounces
- Bread Crumbs - 1 cup
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Cayenne pepper (optional)
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 cup (amount may vary according to consistency)
- Tomato Sauce
- Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Onion - 1/2, chopped
- Garlic Cloves - 2 to 3, mashed
- Bouquet garni - (parsley, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, and rosemary, tied in cheesecloth)
- Flour - up to 1 tablespoon
- Ripe Tomatoes - 10 medium, roughly chopped
- Water - 1 cup (amount may vary according to the juice in the tomatoes)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Unsalted Butter - 1 tablespoon (optional)
- Chives - 8 to 10, chopped
- Carrot - 1, grated
- Chervil - 2 sprigs, chopped
- Watercress - 1 small bunch, stemmed
- Bay Leaves - 8
To make the mousse: Preheat the oven to 450 F. Liberally butter 8 ramekins and put in the refrigerator to chill. Grind the onion and livers in a food grinder. Add the shallots, thyme, garlic, parsley, and basil. Place the mixture in a bowl and add the eggs, lard, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper. Season with cayenne if desired. Mix well. Put the mixture in a food processor and process until smooth. Slowly add about 1 cup of cream while blending. The mixture should be more liquid than thick; add more cream if necessary to thin it. Pour back into the bowl and adjust the seasoning. Strain through a chinois or sieve. Pour the mixture into the ramekins. Put the ramekins in a large ovenproof saute pan and fill half way up the sides with warm water. Cover each ramekin with a piece of buttered parchment paper. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Place the pan in the oven for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and take off the parchment paper. Let stand for 2 minutes.
To prepare the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent. Add the bouquet garni. Sprinkle the onion mixture with a little flour to thicken the sauce. Add tomatoes and mix well. Reduce heat to medium. Add 1 cup of water and cook 20 to 30 minutes, until the tomatoes have lost their shape. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bouquet garni and run the mixture through a food processor. Process until just blended (do not overprocess or the color may change). Strain through a chinois or sieve. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter if desired. Set aside.
To serve: Unmold each mousse on a warmed serving plate. Spoon tomato sauce over the mousse. Garnish with chives, carrot, chervil, and watercress. Put a bay leaf on each.