Chicken Liver Mousse with Bourbon

Chicken Liver Mousse or Pâté

Chicken Liver Mousse with Bourbon takes a French classic and boozes it up just a touch.

Chicken Liver Mousse with Bourbon 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 2 ⅓ cupsSource Melissa ClarkPublished

I halved the recipe you see below and it worked very well. However, you can make the whole thing because leftover mousse may be frozen for up to 1 month.

Chicken Liver Mousse or Pâté


  • 1 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature, divided)
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound chicken livers (membranes removed)
  • 2 clove garlic (peeled and sliced)
  • ¼ cup bourbon (or brandy)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • crackers or toasted baguette slices (for serving)
  • cornichons (for serving)


Melt ½ cup of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and bay leaves: cook, stirring often, until the onions start to brown at the edges, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the chicken livers and garlic, and cook until the livers are golden on the outside but still rosy on the inside, 6 to 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and transfer the contents of the skillet to a food processor. Let cool and then add the remaining ½ cup butter and the bourbon, salt, mustard powder, pepper, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves. Process until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the processor bowl. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Transfer the mixture to a 1‑quart crock or serving dish, or into four 6‑ounce ramekins. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Remove the mousse from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve at room temperature with crackers or baguette slices and cornichons alongside.