Real Life Paleo

Chicken Liver Mousse

Over at Stacy’s Instagram and the Paleo Parents Facebook page Stacy has been talking and sharing pictures of her new favorite food ever since I first made it (here, here, here, here, and here). She gives credit to it for keeping her skin clear, improving her moods, and for keeping her healthy. She takes it to the movie theater, eats it as breakfast and dessert, and makes me make it for her constantly. When you all have patiently asked for the recipe, she has repeated said, “I’ll get Matt to share the recipe soon!”

Yes, I’m talking Stacy’s Chicken Liver Mousse.

Chicken Liver Mousse by PaleoParents

But I haven’t shared it yet for a couple reasons. First of all, I didn’t invent this recipe at all. This is classic French cooking, making an appearance in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a form similar to what you’ll read here. People have done this for, likely, a couple centuries at least.

Second, there’s dairy fat in here, and not an insignificant amount. This is the very first (and probably only) recipe we will ever publish that contains dairy.

So let me whip out my handy dairy warning boilerplate for you. Dairy is not for everyone. I, myself, haven’t had a glass of milk in years. I can’t even eat cheese in a significant amount without getting sick. I wrote a, in hindsight, pretty silly post two years ago about how no human should be consuming dairy of any kind. There are milk proteins that are meant to interact with baby cows and often don’t agree with adult humans. There are many people out there that should not be drinking milk of any kind because their bodies can’t handle it.

Grassfed Organic Heavy Cream for PaleoParents

But dairy fat is a bit different, especially from grass-fed cows. Many more people can handle dairy fat because most of the offending proteins have remained in the milk when the cream is removed. The more the percentage of dairy fat is in your product, the easier it should be to digest. That means the heavy cream is easier than whole milk, and much easier than skim milk, which is practically water and of little use to anyone.

Not only that, but dairy fat is incredibly nutrient dense and energy packed. Don’t believe me? Listen to Chris Masterjohn, Master of All Johns. Frankly, this was the very talk that convinced me that some occasional grass-fed butter or cream might be useful. Oh wait, did I just link to the WAPF? I made Stacy a liar already!

That said, if you’re intolerant or concerned about the butter and cream, we’ve included alternate instructions in the recipe. However, it’s not as nutrient dense. And, we want to tell you that we tested the dairy-free version and although it’s edible we think it tastes like cat food compared to the real deal. So… knowwhatImsaying?

Last but not least, we HIGHLY recommend you eat this with tart apples – preferably Pink Lady. There is a huge difference in how this mousse tastes on a tart apple vs. a cucumber slice or carrot. If you’re trying to make organ meat palatable, you want to start with the apple route. Trust me. This is truly a terrific super food, so if you can learn to enjoy it we highly recommend doing so often!

Chicken Liver Mousse on PaleoParents

Chicken Liver Mousse

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: About 3 cups


  • 1 pint free-range* chicken livers, drained
  • 1 shallot or small onion, finely diced
  • 2 TBSP grass-fed* butter (use lard for dairy-free)
  • 1/3 C white wine or tequila (traditionally this would be cognac or brandy, which are both distilled wines, but white wine is much more available and cheaper and the taste of tequila works well if you have it - if you must avoid alcohol then apple juice for dairy version and apple cider for dairy-free would work here)
  • 1/4 C grass-fed organic* heavy cream (or 3 Tablespoons full fat coconut milk and 2 Tablespoons homemade broth for dairy-free)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme (replace with 1 tsp cinnamon and a 1/2 tsp nutmeg for dairy-free)
  • 3 peppercorns
  • 3 allspice berries
  • 1/2 C melted grass-fed* butter (use lard for dairy-free)


  1. In a cast iron skillet, melt the two tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
  2. Saute the livers with the shallots for about 90 seconds per side. The inside of the liver will still be pink.
  3. Transfer shallots and livers to a blender. Pour in the cream and wine and add the salt, thyme, allspice and peppercorns.
  4. Blend on high until completely smooth.
  5. Pour in the melted butter and pulse to combine.
  6. Pour into mason jars and chill for two hours or until cold.
  7. Serve with a tart apple or veggies for dipping. When it scoops from the jar it should have a pink undertone and have the texture of softened ice cream.


* Because this recipe is for the purpose of nutrient-density and promotion of health, eating the chicken livers, butter and heavy cream from quality sources is essential. They will be much higher in vitamins and minerals, taste much better and be more easy to digest. These ingredients are not overly expensive and often available at local health food stores, Whole Foods or your local farm or farmer's market.

Stores well in an airtight container for up to 10-12 days. Once exposed to air the color will brown and top layer will harden over time. You can just scrape that layer off if bothers you - but storage in small mason jars prevents this from happening.

ChickenLiverMousse-Disaster-by-Paleo-ParentsThe recipe is very much like Julia’s but has my instructions and some modifications.


One other bit of instruction: hold the lid of your blender down or learn the hard way! Chicken Liver Mousse is a disgusting fashion statement no matter how cool your t-shirt.


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  • T G Lam

    I love pate/liver mousse and all things chicken liver. My parents used to make this as a monthly treat (granted with some slight Indochine influences – fish sauce, anyone?) but I bothered to learn how to make it. However, I don’t have access to grass-fed cream but I can easily get grass-fed butter. Would that be a bizarre substitution (maybe creamed butter with some beef broth)? I can’t bring myself to add coconut milk to this recipe…

    • I believe it would. If it works out let us know because then we could potentially tell people it could be adapted casein-free with ghee that way ๐Ÿ™‚

      • T G Lam

        Thanks for the quick response. I’ll be sure to let you know how it turns out. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Leslie G

        I have adapted liver pรขtรฉ with ghee, the flavor isn’t as buttery, but it beats lard or chicken fat!

  • MariaMuscarella

    Thank you for the final warning. Until I read that, I’d forgotten that the last time I tried to blend up livers my kitchen ended up looking like a scene from a horror movie, with liver splattered on every wall and surface. Ugh!

  • YAY! I’ve been excited to try this for so long. My first foray into organ meats! Thanks for posting :):)

  • Personal paleo is what it’s all about. I know Stacy’s psyched about being able to eat some dairy again. Alas, I cannot. I recently tried reintroducing organic grassfed butter and raw goat’s milk kefir, and my body said “hell, no” to both. So, now I’m feeling like your article 2 years ago, but ask me 2 years from now and who knows? Thankfully, I like chicken livers sauteed in coconut oil, so it’s all good.

    • Leslie G

      What about Ghee or goats milk butter!?!

  • Judy

    Thank you, thank you!

  • Michele Speidel

    I only had a couple of the ingredients for the recipe, so I decided to improvise with what I had on hand. 1 cup rendered pasture raised chicken fat, 1 Tablespoon dried onions, 1 Tablespoon dried garlic, 1 package chicken livers from US Wellness Meats plus a few more that I had saved from whole chickens, sea salt and pepper.
    I melted the chicken fat over low heat and added the dried onions and garlic. After about 10 minutes, I added the chicken livers. I cooked this until the chicken livers changed color, about 15 minutes (I had the heat really low – because I was doing other things.) I dumped it all into my food processor, added about 2 tsp. of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. I ran the food processor until the
    It tasted pretty good and made about 3 cups of mousse. Now I need to go to the farmers market for apples while it cools!
    Thank you Matt and Stacy.

    • Michele Speidel

      I ran the food processor until it was smooth.

  • Rebecca McGrath

    What kind of white wine specifically do you use? Not sure if you guys use a chardonnay or a pinot grigio. Appreciate the reply because I cannot wait to make this!

    • Pinot Grigio is what we use, any dry would work.

  • NSum

    Oh LOL! Thanks for the common sense comic relief Matthew.

    This recipe looks great. I am allergic to dairy so I will try the dairy free version. My daughter can have goat milk, so I might just have a little taste to see how it is different.

  • Amazingly delicious indeed!

  • Janknitz

    Hmm, being Jewish, I’ve been feeling a bit left out with your bacon book promos , so I was excited to see something familiar. I mean WE are the people who have been distinguishing between ourselves chicken livers for centuries! (“what am I, chopped liver?”). But cream and cognac??? Ah, no.

    Chopped liver made with plenty of schmaltz (chicken fat), fried onions (fried in schmaltz), and ground with hard boiled eggs may not be so fine and upscale (peasant food, really), but every bit as nutrient dense and delicious–yes!

    And it’s paleo, too! ;o)

  • Ca4ole

    Lovely work, Matthew! Would you be happy to link it in to the current Food on Friday over at Carole’s Chatter which is creating a collection of recipes using offal?
    This is the
    . I do hope to see you there. Cheers

  • Abby Wiley Frelich

    As the sole liver-eater in my household I’m curious to know if you think this would freeze well?

    • Other than ice cream, I’m loathe to freeze anything milk based. Perhaps, but maybe it would be better to halve the recipe. It should keep for almost a week.

      • Ana Flavia

        I have frozen it berore and it turned out fine when I decided to take it out of the freezer.

  • Looking forward to trying this. I think I may have cooked my livers too long the first time I tried to make pate because it came out too dark. Also I needed to add more vinegar. How many pounds of livers did you use in this recipe? Thanks!

  • zosia

    how many grams in one pint of livers…?

    • One US pint is about 500 mL. I measure this by volume, not by weight.

  • Nicole Bobik

    I’m making this as part of my birthday brunch spread.. Any advice? Should I make it night before or morning of? And it’s cool to not cook the livers all the way? Never done this before, sorry.. Any tips would be appreciated.

    • Night before would be better as its served chilled. Your livers should still be pink , but not raw. Like medium rare, yes?
      Good luck!

  • Ellen Berkowitz Chaboya

    I just picked up almost 2 pounds of chicken livers so I can make this! How much in weight do you think is in a pint of chicken livers? Don’t want to go overboard on my first try!! Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    • We measure by volume, so 2 cups is one pint. By weight I’d say 3/4 to 1 pound. Hope you like it!

  • Courtney

    I have access to duck liver…would I be able to use that instead? Is the taste similar do you know? Thanks for the awesome recipes! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Matt

    Great recipe!

    You should definitiely publish your own cookbook!

    Recently I have found this ( recipe book and it is great, but it lacks the creativity as in your recipes!

  • Wenchypoo

    Speaking of making dips out of bizarre animal parts, I recently made Zombie Dip out of a failed batch of chili made from lamb brains. It failed because the lamb made it too pink, despite having thrown massive quantities of red stuff into it.

    It was terrific as a spicy dip for pork rinds, though.

  • Heather

    This is delicious! I need to make a dairy free batch for my daughters with allergies, but I can’t use lard (they are also allergic to pork). Any suggestions for butter/lard substitutes?! I am desperate to get organ meat into them & I think they’d love this on apples!

    • what’s your usual fat of choice? a blend of coconut oil and tallow would work texture wise, but the taste would likely not be great..

      • Heather

        I usually use coconut oil… Would cocoa butter work? Or maybe that’d taste too much like a chocolate bar ;( thank you so much for responding, this is so delicious!

        • You can give it a try, but I am baffled as to what that might taste like!

    • Sandy Toma

      Ghee would work. I can’t eat dairy either but can eat ghee. The casein proteins are removed.

  • Toronto girl

    I’ve made this today with turkey livers, duck fat and coconul milk, the result is amazingly delicious! Thank you