Contributed by Laura Pensiero, Hudson Valley Mediterranean
1⁄3 cup plus 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 oz pancetta or bacon, diced
1 med shallot, chopped
2 tbsp golden raisins or dried cherries
1⁄4 tsp garam masala
2 lbs chicken livers, cleaned
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and shallot, and cook, stirring often, until fat is rendered from the pancetta and it is slightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the raisins and the garam masala and stir. Increase the heat to medium-high, season the chicken livers with salt and pepper, and add them to the skillet (they should fit in one layer; do not crowd).
Cook, turning the livers with tongs once or twice, until they are firm but still slightly pink inside, about 5 minutes, depending on the size. Add the vinegar, orange juice and maple syrup and cook until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Transfer the mixture to a food processor, add the lemon zest, and pulse a few times to blend. With the motor running, pour in the remaining 1⁄3 cup olive oil in a steady stream. Season the mousse with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until cooled and thickened, about 2 hours.
Transfer the mousse to a serving bowl and allow it to warm slightly at room temperature before serving.