CHICKEN FAUX GRAS
SERVES12 (FIRST COURSE)
ACTIVE TIME:45 MIN START TO FINISH:4 3/4 HR (INCLUDES COOLING)
Foie Gras is unavailable in California (I do agree with PETA) but this is a good substitution. Delicious with chilled Champagne!
ADAPTED FROM HAPPY IN THE KITCHEN BY MICHEL RICHARD
1 cup finely chopped onion (1 medium)
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pound chicken livers, trimmed
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
FOR PARSLEY GELÉE
1 seedless cucumber (usually plastic-wrapped)
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1 to 2 drops Tabasco sauce
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: 4 (8-oz) ovenproof ramekins
ACCOMPANIMENT: crackers or baguette slices
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 300ºF.
Cook onion in 2 tablespoons butter in a small heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cream and simmer, covered, until onion is tender, about 6 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1 3/4 sticks butter, then return to heat and stir until butter is melted and mixture is combined.
Purée livers with onion mixture, sea salt, and pepper in a blender, scraping down sides as necessary, until smooth. Force mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring cup. Bring a teakettle full of water to a boil.
Evenly space ramekins in a 13- by 9-inch roasting pan. Divide liver mixture among ramekins, then cover each ramekin with foil and place roasting pan in oven. Pour enough boiling water into pan to fill pan halfway. Bake until mousse is just set, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and transfer ramekins to a rack to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour, then chill mousse, covered, at least 3 hours.
PREPARE GELÉE ONCE MOUSSE IS COLD:
Chop half of cucumber and reserve remainder for another use. Purée chopped cucumber in a food processor until liquefied. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a liquid measuring cup (You should have 1/2 cup cucumber water. If not, chop and purée more cucumber.)
Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup cucumber water in a small saucepan and let stand 1 minute to allow gelatin to soften. Heat gelatin mixture over low heat, swirling pan, until gelatin is liquefied, then remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, sugar, Tabasco (to taste), parsley, and remaining 1/4 cup cucumber water until sugar is dissolved.
Cool gelée 5 minutes, then spoon about 2 tablespoons over each mousse. Chill until gelée is set, about 1 hour.
Bring mousse to room temperature, about 30 minutes, before serving.
COOKS’ NOTE: Baked mousse with gelée can be chilled up to 3 days.