I had a little gathering on the first Sunday of Advent treating my friends to some traditional Swedish Christmas treats as well as some other things. We started off with this heavenly smooth chicken liver mousse served with crispy crostinis. It went down really well and I am very pleased with the flavour combination of liver, red wine and thyme.
Even if you are not a serious charcuterie or offal fan, a chicken liver mousse is always a good place to start. Chicken liver is very mild in flavour compared to calf’s or lamb’s liver. And the other ingredients in this mousse don’t really enhance the liver flavour; it mere complements it.
To make the crostinis, all you need is a day-old baguette and some oil. Slice the baguette in 5 mm thick slices slightly on the diagonal and place on a baking tray. Drizzle with a nice olive or rapeseed oil, place in 200C oven until crisp and golden brown; it takes about 15 minutes.
Chicken liver mousse with red wine and thyme, 1 batch
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 tbsp oil for frying
450 g chicken livers (about 350 g once tubes/tendons removed), roughly chopped
1tbsp butter + 1 tbsp butter
50 ml red wine
1/2 tsk dried thyme
salt and pepper
65 ml double cream
Fry the onions in the oil on low heat until translucent, add the garlic and fry for another minute.
Turn the heat up and add 1 tbsp butter and the liver. Fry until the liver pieces are cooked all the way around but pink in the middle. Add the anchovy (whole), more butter, red wine and thyme. Fry while stirring until half the liquid has evaporated. Add salt and pepper.
Remove from heat and pour into a food processor. Add the cream and mix until as smooth as possible. Season to taste with salt, pepper and maybe a pinch of sugar. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve, into the serving container. The mixture is a bit liquid at this stage but it will set in the fridge. Refridgerate for several hours (about 4-5) for the mousse to set and the flavours to develop.