Wine & Food Pairings
Chicken Faux Gras
16 tbls (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 garlic clove
½ cup heavy cream
1 lb chicken livers, rinsed & any dark spots or veins removed
1 tsp fine sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ English cucumber (about 7 oz), cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tsp gelatin
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp granulated sugar
Pinch of fine sea salt
1 to 2 drops Tabasco sauce
2 to 3 tbls minced Italian parsley
Absolutely the creamiest thing on earth. If you don’t tell people what it is, they will think it is foie gras and that you are an extravagant host. Every step in the recipe is designed to accentuate creamy lightness. Cooking the mixture in a water bath, as one does custard, further encourages its delicacy. Yes, it has a lot of butter – but not so much when you consider that it will serve 12. Make sure you let the faux gras stand at room temperature for half an hour before serving, with crusty bread.
HINT: You won’t believe how much this tastes like foie gras.
The mousse can be served without the Parsley Gelée, but, once it is refrigerated, the top of the mousse will become gray. The gelée both seals the top and adds a refreshing counterpoint to the richness of the mousse. If you don’t use the gelée, scrape the discolored portion from the top of the mousse before serving.
In a small saucepan, melt 2 tbls of the butter over low heat. Add the onions and stir to coat with the butter. Cover the pan and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent. Using a rasp grater, grate the garlic directly onto the onions (or mince the garlic and add it). Add the cream and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook gently about 6 minutes, or until the onions are very soft.
Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 14 tbls of butter. Return to the heat and stir until the butter has melted and the mixture is combined. Remove from the heat.
Place the raw livers in a blender and add the onion mixture, salt, and pepper. Blend until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides of the blender if necessary. Transfer to a measuring cup or bowl with a spout.
Preheat the oven to 300ºF. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
Place four small ovenproof bowls or crocks with about a 1-cup capacity into a large deep baking dish, arranging them so the bowls do not ouch each other or the sides of the pan. Using a small strainer, strain the mousse into the bowls, dividing evenly.
Cover each bowl with a piece of aluminum foil and place the baking dish on the oven rack. Ladle or pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the bowls. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the mousse is set. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
Refrigerate the mousse for a few hours to chill. Once the mousse is cold and set, prepare the gelée.
Place the cucumber in a food processor and process until liquefied. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a measuring cup. You should have ½ cup cucumber water.
In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the gelatin and ¼ cup of the cucumber water. Add the lemon juice, sugar, salt and Tabasco to the remaining cucumber water.
Place the small bowl in the microwave and heat just to melt the gelatin, do not allow to boil. Stir back in the seasoned cucumber water. Stir in 2 tbls of the parsley. Add some or all of the remaining parsley a little at a time until the mixture is dense with parsley but the green of the cucumber water is still visible.
Remove the faux gras from the refrigerator and spoon about 2 tbls of the gelée on top of each container. Refrigerate until the gelée is set, about 1 hour. (The assembled mousse can be refrigerated for up to 3 days before serving.)
Let stand room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
Makes 3 cups; serves 12 as an appetizer or spread.