29 September 2010

Foies de volaille à la crème moutardée

The other day I noticed a container of fresh chicken livers in the fresh poultry section of the supermarket. The label on the container said foies de poulet, so they really were chicken and not turkey. Often what you find is "poultry livers" — foies de volaille. And that's okay too — turkey livers are as good as chicken livers. Duck livers might be even better.

Foies de poulet...

...poêlés au beurre

It had been a long time since I'd cooked chicken livers. Duck gizzards, yes — they're good in salads. So are chicken livers, but with the cool damp weather we're having right now, and given the number of tomato salads we've eaten over the past month, I decided I wanted to eat the chicken livers hot, in a sauce.

Here's the recipe I came up with:

Sautéed Chicken Livers
in a Creamy Mustard Sauce

1 lb. fresh chicken livers

2 shallots (or 1 small onion)
6 fl. oz. (¾ cup) heavy cream
2 Tbsp. Dijon-style mustard
1 Tbsp. butter
Salt and pepper

Wash and trim the livers, cutting them into smaller pieces if they are very large. Sauté them in butter with the chopped shallot or onion.

Mix the mustard into the cream (crème fraîche if you can get it) in a bowl. When the livers are lightly browned, pour the cream sauce over them, pepper them generously, and let them cook for a few minutes on medium heat so that the mustard cream sauce thicken. Add salt to taste.

Serve the chicken livers and sauce with plain steamed rice, or with mashed, fried, or sautéed potatoes. Sprinkle chopped parsley over all.
The livers I bought seemed awfully large to be chicken livers, but I didn't mind. I cut them into bite-size pieces before I sautéed them. The package weighed only about ¾ lb., actually, so I reduced the other quantities proportionally.

Use good Dijon mustard.

A small portion of such a rich dish is sufficient, by the way, and it's very satisfying. We had ours with French fries, because we grew so many potatoes this summer. A dish with a cream sauce like this one needs to be followed by a good green salad in a tart vinaigrette dressing.


  1. Your recipe is very close to mine. I use heavy whipping cream in SC, because that's all I can find, but it works fine. Just like yours, it is delicious. When I tell my American friends about chicken livers, they say: YUCK. To paraphrase a wellknown book, Pardonnez-leur, car ils ne savent ce qu'ils disent!

  2. chm, very funny :))

    Ken, oh my heavens... help me, help me, it's 8:20 a.m. and I'm now craving creamy mustard sauce on ANYTHING :)) Looks great.


  3. Ooohhh, they look deelish! I love chicken livers.


  4. This morning I wrote you a message
    "So totally french" then deleted it.
    Diane in the Charente grew some sweet potatoes. Have you ever tried to grow some?

  5. Nadège, I haven't tried growing sweet potatoes but that's a very good idea. Thanks for the link to Diane's blog, which I know.

    A few days ago, Mary (I believe it was) pointed out that I could have bought some of those inexpensive sweet potatoes up in Blois and stored them in my cellar with the potatoes we grew this year. I wish I had been thinking that day, because I missed an opportunity. I was in too much of a hurry, I think.

    CHM, the livers were delicious. I'm sure the ones you make are delicious too.

    Judy and BettyAnn, the livers are good and that mustard-cream sauce makes many foods taste very good. Spinach, chicken livers, potatoes, poultry, and on and on.


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