"Living in France, I'm influenced by what's eaten here, especially classic so-called peasant food like liver and onions," says Clugston. "By making it into a mousse, it's more luxurious but still simple."
- 16 sourdough slices (5mm thick; from about 1 baguette)
- Melted butter, for brushing
- 2 tsp grapeseed oil
- 225 gm chicken livers, trimmed
- 2 thyme sprigs, plus extra to serve
- 60 ml apple balsamic vinegar (see note) or aged balsamic vinegar, plus extra to season (¼ cup)
- 85 gm softened butter, diced
- 2 tsp crème fraîche
- 600 gm white onions, thinly sliced (about 3)
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
- Lemon juice, to taste
- 1For liver mousse, heat oil in a frying pan over high heat. Pat chicken livers dry with paper towels and fry, turning once, until cooked pink (30 seconds to 1 minute each side). Add thyme and swirl pan so thyme sticks to the livers. Deglaze pan with vinegar, then pour out. Cool livers briefly (10 minutes), then blend with butter in a blender until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve, pressing with the back of a ladle, adding a little water if mixture splits. Season to taste with salt and extra vinegar, fold in crème fraîche and refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve. Mousse is best eaten on the day it's prepared.
- 2For softened onions, combine onions and oil in a saucepan over low heat with a little salt and sauté gently until softened without colouring (15-20 minutes). Season generously with lemon juice.
- 3Brush sourdough with butter and fry in batches in a large frying pan over medium heat, turning once, until golden and crisp (1 minute each side).
- 4Spread bread with liver mousse, cover with onion, scatter with thyme and serve.
Apple balsamic vinegar is available from select specialist food shops such as [Gourmet Life].