Spiced Chicken Liver Mousse


Until early this year we were purchasing all our eggs and chicken from a small farm about 15 miles away from us. Eventually, coordinating times and places to meet for exchange of money and goods became a bit too much of a hassle for both parties and we stopped. But not before I acquired large amounts of various non-standard parts of chicken (from the American grocery point of view). I still have a very large bag of chicken feet in the chest freezer, for example. And I also went through a large bag of hearts and gizzards in the spring (they cooked up very nicely with onions, cauliflower and spices and tasted very good rolled in tortillas). In the spring I also made a spiced mousse with a large bag of livers and served it on bread at a potluck with some friends. It was quite popular, even among some who are not usually very liver-positive. I’ve been trying to get it on the blog since May but it’s only now that it has finally (and I must admit, improbably) made the cut. There are a few people, online and off, who have been asking for a recipe and this goes out first and foremost to them. Remember, kids: don’t let go of your dreams—they’ll come true someday.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs chicken livers
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1-2 slit Thai chillies
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tblspn freshly crushed garlic
  • 1 tblspn freshly crushed ginger
  • 2 tblspns golden raisins
  • 1 tblspn pine nuts
  • 1/2 tspn haldi/turmeric powder
  • The following ground together into a coarse powder: 1 tspn coriander seed, 1 tspn zeera/cumin seed, 1/2 tspn methi/fenugreek seed, 1 Kashmiri chilli [affiliate link], 1/2 tspn long pepper [affiliate link], 1 tspn black peppercorn, 1/2 tspn Sichuan peppercorn
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tblspn Chinkiang vinegar [affiliate link]
  • 1 tspn garam masala
  • Salt
  • Neutral oil of choice (I use avocado oil usually)

Preparation

  • Heat 2-3 tblspns of oil over medium heat in a large saucepan.
  • When the oil shimmers add the curry leave and the slit green chillies.
  • As soon as the curry leaves become glossy add the chopped onion and crushed ginger and garlic and and saute till the onion is beginning to brown.
  • Add the golden raisins and saute, stirring constantly till the raisins plump up.
  • Add the pine nuts and saute, stirring till they begin to darken.
  • Add the haldi and the coarsely ground spices, mix in and saute for another minute or so.
  • Add the liver, mix thoroughly and saute till the surface pink/red colour is mostly gone.
  • Add the salt and the coconut milk, mix in and cook, stirring often till the fat begins to separate.
  • Pour the contents of the pan into a large blender.
  • Add the vinegar and the garam masala and puree till at the consistency you prefer.
  • Serve on good, crusty bread with a dollop of peach chutney (or similar) and some chopped chives.

Notes

  1. I realize 1.5 lbs of chicken liver may be an odd amount when buying from stores. Just adjust things up or down as needed. And frankly, it’ll probably be good if you stick with these amounts whether cooking a smaller or larger amount of liver. But you would probably want to cut the coconut milk down to 3/4 cup for 1 lb of liver unless you like your mousse on the runnier side.
  2. If you don’t have access to long pepper just up the amount of regular black peppercorn. I used it mostly because I’d just bought a packet for the first time.
  3. Don’t have access to Chinkiang vinegar either? Any sweet vinegar will do.
  4. And, of course, dhania/cilantro will work just as well if you don’t have chives.
  5. Yes, there’s a Reel.

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