Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Crispy Chicken, Toasted Brioche, Oyster Mushrooms, Spinach, Chicken Liver Mousse and Madeira Jus

It's generally true that if Chris goes out to dinner, he will return home with something I have to make.  This combination was so "Oh, yes" that I just went ahead and tried making it before tasting the original from Quinns Pub.  For the crispy chicken part, I went back to this roasted chicken recipe from an earlier post.  One addition I made was putting some herb butter between the skin and the meat of the chicken.  My herb butter consisted of butter, rosemary, thyme and sage that were all finely chopped. Toasted brioche seemed easy enough.  Buy a brioche roll and toast in the oven.  Saute some oyster mushrooms in olive oil.  Saute some baby spinach leaves in olive oil.  The chicken liver mousse and madeira jus were going to be just a bit more work.
Soon after we were married, I started collecting recipes, mostly from Chris' mom, and placed them in the guest book from our wedding.  When I started to think about making a chicken liver mousse, I remembered a recipe I got from her for Currant Studded Chicken Liver Pate.  This is the first, and really, only pate I've ever made.  It's been so long, I can't remember if I loved it or not, but I kept the recipe, so out it came for another go.

I cut the original recipe in half and made just a couple of changes:
3 Tbsp white wine
1 Tbsp cognac
1 Tbsp currants
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 Cup white button mushrooms, chopped
2 Tbsp green onions, chopped
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1/4 tsp salt
6 oz Chicken livers
3 Tbsp very soft butter
2 Tbsp heavy cream

Soak the currants in the wine and cognac over night.  
At least 4 hours ahead, drain currants and reserve liquid
Melt the 1 1/2 Tbsp butter in a large skillet.  Saute the mushrooms, green onions, garlic and salt until softened.  Add the chicken livers and saute until brown on the outside and pink within.  
Stir in the reserved wine and currants. 
Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.  
Cool, then transfer to a food processor fitted with a metal blade. and process until smooth.
Add the 3 Tbsp softened butter, blend until smooth.
Pass the mixture through a sieve.
Clean the bowl of the food processor, and then return the mixture to it.  Add the cream and process for a couple minutes until mixture becomes a little lighter and airy - mousse like.
Place into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for a 3-4 hours before using.
I dragged Stella to the store with me to buy the livers last night.  She asked me "why do you have to make something that's not good?"  So, apparently liver is not at the top of my kids' list of foods they want to consume.  While I was pressing the processed liver through the sieve, Maggie said, "what is that?", to which I replied, "chicken liver puree", to which she answered,  "aughh!  I thought that was chocolate pudding".  "That's like pate and I don't like liver anything."  Strike two for me.  Chris had better like this!

For the Madeira Jus:
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 Cup madeira
3/4 Cup chicken stock
Remove the roasted chicken from the skillet/pan.  Remove all but 1 tbsp fat and add 1 tbsp of flour to make a roux.  Deglaze the skillet with 1/2 cup madeira.  Bring to a boil and using a whisk, blend the madeira and roux together until smooth.  Then add in the chicken stock and whisk together.  Add any juices that collect while the chicken is resting and let it all boil together for a minute.

Happy to be cooking fall meals again, and this one is a mainstay.  A little liver mousse with each bite adds a little more depth to the chicken.  The girls both tried it and confessed it was actually pretty good, but they are still trying to maintain their stance against liver.  Chris & I loved it!

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