Three to One: The Best Chicken Liver Mousse Recipe, ever.

THREE TO ONE: A lot of people ask me why I called my blog “Three to One”. It was based on the idea that there are a lot of recipes on the web, and that if you search something simple, like ‘chocolate cake’, for instance, you’ll get a barrage of well meaning and possibly amazing ideas, but how do you know which is the best? How do you know which one will taste great? And which one do you try without wasting money and time on ingredients and cooking? What if someone were to test and take all of those, and reduce them down to just one? Since it seemed, (to me, at least) that recipes usually take three different tacts. I wanted to create a site that was taking the three tacts, and reducing them to one. Thus was born, Three to One… 

Marlow and Sons is a restaurant based in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that has had Chicken Liver Mousse on it’s menu for as long as I can remember. So I decided to spend some time hunting down the recipe, and here it is. I found it in Diner Journal, Issue No. 9 Fall 2008, and Issue No. 14 The Poultry Special Edition 2010. The recipe is from Caroline Fidanza, Ex-Chef of the restaurant and it’s truly unique. I’ve made the recipe three times now, and it really is the best chicken liver mousse I’ve ever eaten. I love the way the recipe is written too, it’s very intuitive, and If you follow it step by step, you can’t go wrong. It’s perfect for New Year’s Eve, or in fact perfect for any gathering.

Serve with plenty of toasted or grilled baguette. Chicken Liver Mousse will hold in the fridge for about a week. 

1 Spanish Onion, sliced
4 Shallots, sliced
6 Cloves of Garlic, sliced
1 pound of Chicken Liver
Half a cup of Brandy
Unsalted Butter
Sherry Vinegar

In a heavy bottomed sauté pan heat one stick (or a quarter pound) of butter until it sizzles. Add the onion, garlic and shallots to the butter. Season well with Salt, turn heat to medium low and allow to slowly and deeply caramelize. Drain the chicken livers through a strainer and then lay them out on paper towels to absorb any blood or moisture. Look over the livers and remove any unpleasant things hanging off them. Season the livers well with Salt and Pepper on both sides. In a separate sauté pan, cook the livers on high heat in a combination of olive oil and butter, about 3 tablespoons of each to start. Cook the livers fast allowing them to brown on the outside but remain pink on the inside. Cook livers in small batches being sure not to overcrowd the pan. Deglaze the pan inbetween batches with sherry vinegar. Transfer the cooked livers and onions to a bowl until everything is all cooked. When the livers are cooked, deglaze the pan with Brandy and then pour the Brandy over the livers and onions. Allow everything to cool.

Note: Don’t be afraid to add a lot of butter to the pan to cook the livers and the onions. This is where a lot of the flavor is going to come from. This is not a low-cal, low-fat dish so you may as well make it taste good.

Once the livers and onions are cool but not cold puree them in the food processor. Put everything in at once and let the motor run, you want this to really smooth. Season with sherry vinegar, salt and pepper, tasting over and over again until you don’t feel that it can taste any better than it does. Chill.


To get info on how to visit Marlow and Sons, click here.
For info on how to purchase containers of this chicken liver mousse at Marlow and Daughter’s (their nearby butcher shop), click here.
To get info on chef Caroline Fidanza, who is now running the sandwich shop, “Salty”, click here. 
To subscribe to the Diner Journal, click here.


Photograph: Daniel Håkansson, check out his work, here. 




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2 thoughts on “Three to One: The Best Chicken Liver Mousse Recipe, ever.

  1. In France, it is more common to use Port wine / Porto instead of Brandy apparently, let us know if you give it a try one day. Thank you for sharing!

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