Balthazar’s Chicken Liver Mousse

Chicken liver mousse

It was a busy day in the kitchen. I made lacto-fermented salsa, lacto-fermented ketchup, chicken stock, a brisket and carrot soup (for dinner), and chicken liver mousse (which we also ended up eating for dinner).

I used the recipe from the Balthazar cookbook for the chicken liver mousse. If you're not familiar with it, Balthazar is a restaurant in New York City. In SoHo. It's a fun place to go. And the food is very good.

Anyway, this is a good recipe. The mousse came out great. In the restaurant, they add a little foie gras. But I honestly don't think you need it. This was so good, even Seth ate it.

It would have been better if we could have put it on bread. But it was still good.

Yes, it has butter in it. We're trying butter to see how he does. He's doing fine so far.

I know, you're supposed to start with clarified butter but he wanted to try. Seth knows himself pretty well and he keeps saying, “I'm fine with butter.”

Anyhow, here's the recipe:

Balthazar's Chicken Liver Mousse


Chicken livers (1 pound) — where to buy
Butter (1/2 pound plus 4 TBS) — where to buy grass fed butter
Egg (1)
Salt (2 tsp) — where to buy sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper (a pinch)
Cognac (2 TBS)
Quatre-epices,equal parts nutmeg, allspice, cloves and cinnamon (a pinch)


1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
2. Brush 6 4-oz ramekins with the 4 TBS melted butter.
3. Use a small knife to remove the connective veins from the chicken livers and discard the veins.
4. Process the chicken livers, egg, sea salt, quatre-epices, pepper, and Cognac in a food processor. (I left out the Cognac, since I wanted to feed this to Kate. I didn't have any white pepper so I used black pepper instead. And I used freshly grated nutmeg, only because I happen to have whole nutmegs and a nutmeg grater.)
5. With the food processor running, slowly add the 1/2 pound of melted butter. Blend for 15 seconds.
6. Pour the mixture into the ramekins, filling 3/4 of the way.
7. Set the ramekins in a baking dish and fill the baking dish with water to half the height of the ramekins.
8. Bake for 30 minutes.
9. Let the ramekins cool, and then refrigerate until needed.
10. Run a warm knife around the edge of each ramekin, cover with a plate, and invert.
11. Serve chilled (we ate it room temp) with baguette toasts.

So yeah, we ate it without the baguette. No Cognac either. Still so good. Kate loved it, too.

I forgot to put the ramekins in the water bath (see the photo above). But it still came out great.

The salsa came out really good, as well. I didn't think to use gloves when I was cutting up the chili peppers for the salsa — and I burned the shit out of my hands. They were on fire — for hours. It would not go away. I tried fresh aloe vera and it helped for about 5 minutes but the pain came right back.

I looked online for remedies — and I tried several to no avail. Soaking in vinegar, dishwashing liquid and cold water, olive oil… nothing worked. Then I tried waterless hand sanitizer — it's ethyl alcohol.

And that worked. Like magic!

Find Me Online

Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

23 thoughts on “Balthazar’s Chicken Liver Mousse

  1. I’ll have to try the Chicken Liver Mousse, I do get tired of fried chicken livers. BUT PLEASSSSE share your Salsa recipe! I’d love to have it. My son loves hot hot salsa. Hopefully I’ll remember the gloves!

  2. Hi, Diane, I used the salsa recipe in NT. She doesn’t specify which peppers to use — and I just grabbed a couple at the market. Kate had just dropped her glass bottle (SMASH!) in Whole Foods and I was a bit flustered so I just grabbed.

    I thought I was grabbing a jalapeno and an Anaheim. But I think it might have been a serrano and an Anaheim.

    I hope it doesn’t come out too hot!

    Oh well it’s the first time I made it — I can always make it again and perfect it.

  3. I’m going back over some of your old posts that I missed. I really need to eat more liver.

    I’m laughing about the hot pepper. I did this about 13 years ago. Didn’t know any better. I even got the juice in my eye. I wore contacts at the time .Had to get them out…..not smart with hot pepper juice on your hands (as you note, it doesn’t wash out).

    Can’t wait until this baby comes out so I can get back to some “normalcy” when it comes to cooking.

  4. Mmmm… now I’m digging through all your recipes because the mayo turned out so well! I also have soaked granola dehydrating… humming in my ear right now. I think I am going to try this soon. I have never worked with chicken livers… besides gravy, and this seems easy and do-able. I will report back! Thanks again!
    .-= Molly Chester´s last blog ..Chamomile Tea & A Baby To-Be =-.

  5. Any reason why I couldn’t use beef liver? I’m all for experimenting but hate to ruin it by trial!

  6. I had the same outcome when I made the ketchup. Thick, tomatoe-y and kind of fishy from the fish sauce. My Ketchup loving kids would not even touch it.

    LOL about the peppers. Even though I know better, I never remember the gloves. And no matter what, I always have to pee when I am working with hot peppers. Suffice it to say that I am a guy and you dont want to get hot pepper juice on any “sensitive” areas. My wife was rolling on the floor laughing. I saw no humor in it al all!

  7. Hey Ann Marie

    Just had my first ever batch of chicken livers delivered with my farmers’ meat order… feels so daunting! He he, anyway, just wanting to try this recipe and wanted to know how long you think it would last in the fridge?

  8. THIS is a recipe I have always wanted to try! I want to LOVE eating liver and not have to hide it in things

  9. O.M.G. this was sooo GOOD!! Made it this afternoon and couldn’t wait to try it, so I sampled it hot. It was excellent on baguette. Hoping that it’s even better chilled. 🙂

    BTW, since pepper oil is an acid, baking soda would probably neutralize the burn.

  10. Hello AnnMarie,
    I have a freezer full of beef liver… you think this would work with that? Also, one of my daughters has a severe dairy allergy. I know I am changing a lot about this recipe, but do you think I could sub coconut oil or cream for the butter? Thanks! I love, love, love your blog! 🙂

  11. Just made this and was wondering how long it will keep? Also do you soak your liver with lemon ahead of time? Do you dry them a bit? Mine were frozen and when I defrosted, there was a lot of water. I drained them but when I processed them, it seemed pretty watery?? Thanks. Enjoying you on Facebook. Love reading what everyone is eating

  12. Tips for burning hands:

    Try soaking in one or all of the following of these:

    vinegar, cold milk, Technu, or water with a drip of bleach in it.



  13. First this recipe sounds delic and appropriate for youngsters when the alcohol comes out; I like that you condone recipe substitution. And, wow, thanks for the details on your hands and how the ethyl alcohol was the trick. I am glad I do not get into salsa that is super spicy. I am a baked goods, quiche and fish girl! Thank you again, Cheeseslave for a very informative post.

  14. Made this recipe, but used black pepper instead of white and didn’t do the water bath thing and it turned out great! My husband likes liver and he loved this recipe. I had never tried liver, and was grossed out by it, but when a local farm we buy from had chicken liver on sale I decided to give it a try (because its supposed to be pretty healthy for you!). I actually enjoyed this recipe! I would highly recommend it for people who want to give liver a try!

  15. Try buttermilk for pepper burns. When I was a little girl, I once played with my grandmother’s hot peppers even though she had warned me about them–they were just so pretty that I couldn’t resist touching. HOWEVER, when I rubbed my eyes, they burned horribly. She put drops of butter milk in my eyes and dipped clean handkerchiefs in buttermilk to make compresses. It worked quickly to eliminate the burn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Posts