I visited Georges Blanc, an unpretentious riverside restaurant in Vonnas, a small town in southern Burgundy, just days after the Michelin Guide had elevated the establishment to three-star status. The place was understandably in a state of excitement. I feel in love with a chicken mousseline I had that night. Blanc had transformed a simple chicken mousse into a truly ethereal concoction. The main ingredient was perfect blond livers from prized Bresse chickens, which were raised a stone's throw from the restaurant.
I knew that our chickens were not capable of producing those huge pale livers, but I thought perhaps I could do something else to achieve a similar great-tasting dish. I began by coating livers generously with sea salt and black pepper, then pan-seared them in olive oil at a high temperature. When they were dark brown on the outside but still rare inside, I removed them and added some diced apples to the hot skillet: they caramelized instantly. I poured in Calvados, cognac, and cream. Finally, I pureed the cooled livers and apples with toasted walnuts. The last ingredient is all-important: a good dose of sweet butter. While the result, served with toasted walnut bread, does not taste exactly like Blanc's mousse, it has its own charm.
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