Chicken liver mousse. That sounds pretty disgusting from a linguistic sense. Why would you ever make mousse from a liver, whose job is to essentially detox shit from your body?
In an American sense, it sounds like a string of loose nouns placed in succession for someone whose dietary configuration subsists of ‘I’ll do it for $20’ dares.
Regardless of the first-impact, unappealing name, it’s a dish I believe has merit in dipping a toe into the ocean of increasingly pretentious, ‘smart,’ or refined cuisine. If you want.
For the fine dining folk, this dish may not seem revelatory and shows just how infantile I am in regards to Lewis & Clark eating, but for me- it is Terabithia rope-esque.
I’m not sure if chicken liver mousse has been rendered passe already with increasingly trendy menus looking to bump their street-cred with pseudo-edgy dishes that involve barnyard decor or a mason jar of sorts but the dish still carries an air of forgoing caution in my eyes.
My first experience with the whipped poultry organ was not necessarily transcendent or eye-opening but offered a key-hole peer into how and why people enjoyed what I thought was ‘weird shit.’ I had a much-needed decompress catch-up dinner with a cousin who works as a cook. In the fire-storm of small plates and entrees he ordered, chicken liver mousse, smeared on a charcuterie board with toast caught my eye.
Of the dishes I was willing to try first, the mousse appeared to have the least amount of friction to my sensibilities. I mean it’s served on toast.
First bite: An initial slap of fragrance and earthiness, a mysterious spice, followed by a satisfying oomph. The toast: a hearty vessel of crust and inner concave to hold the mousse. Crusty, smooth, warm, and cool. Each molecule of crumb tacked with a dab of mousse.
In the daze of my own personal ‘Ratatouille’ moment, I realized my own limited perception of food was extremely narrow and should be expanded even just slightly.
What I thought would be gross, inedible, was no longer: “yeah, I’ve tried it- I don’t like it.”
With many aspects of my at length, finicky dining, I’ll advocate for this dish and stake claim for it being mildly transitive. In a world of minimizing risks, that’s sometimes enough.